THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks

Residents get first look at town devastated by Australia bushfire

AUSTRALIA: Residents got their first look today (Mar 20) at the devastation wrought by a bushfire that ravaged a town in Australia, but fears over asbestos and unstable structures mean even those with houses still standing cannot move back.

accidentsconstructiondisastersenvironmenthealthlandpollutionweatherproperty
By AFP

Tuesday 20 March 2018, 09:44AM


Nearly 70 homes have been destroyed in the picturesque New South Wales seaside village of Tathra. Photo: AFP

Nearly 70 homes have been destroyed in the picturesque New South Wales seaside village of Tathra. Photo: AFP

Sixty-nine homes were incinerated in Tathra on the south coast of New South Wales, and another 39 damaged, after a blaze fanned by gusty winds and hot, dry conditions swept through the picturesque seaside village on Sunday (Mar 18) and yesterday (Mar 19).

Another 30 caravans or cabins were also lost in the fire, which left scenes of burned-out cars, blackened trees and property reduced to rubble.

While some locals were able to return on a bus tour and see what was left, safety concerns over asbestos, fallen power lines, unstable structures and other hazards mean they must wait until at least tomorrow (Mar 21) before being able to pick up the pieces.

“It’s well known that asbestos dust, which arises after asbestos is burned, is very mobile and can get into the atmosphere,” recovery coordinator Euan Ferguson told reporters, with testing under way to determine it was safe.

“It can get into the lungs and cause fatal diseases.”

Asbestos cement or sheeting, a cheap and durable material, was widely used in the Australian building industry after World War II until the 1980s.

Hundreds of evacuated residents spent yesterday night at a recovery centre at nearby Bega, under the care of charities and volunteers, as firefighters continued to tackle parts of the blaze.

“Overnight, crews have made good progress on the southern side of the fire, with containment on most of this part of the fire,” the NSW Rural Fire Service said of the blaze that has burned out more than 1,000 hectares.

BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET

“Crews are continuing to focus on the northern side of the fire.”

While the threat to homes had eased, authorities warned that “this may change quickly”, depending on the weather. At least five schools remained closed.

“I totally feel for what they must be going through. They must just be in total limbo,” a Tathra local identified only as John, whose house survived, told broadcaster ABC of his fellow residents.

But he said the town would “stick together and we’ll rebuild and look after one another as we always have”.

Some 40,000 hectares were also scorched in southwestern regions of neighbouring Victoria state as dozens of blazes swept through over the weekend, wiping out beef and dairy cattle.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the “unprecedented” force of the fires claimed at least 18 homes.

Despite the damage, authorities said there were no reports of serious injuries or deaths.

Experts said the infernos showed the bushfire season – which usually occurs in the summer months of December-February – was lengthening as climate change disrupts weather patterns.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Fast & Furious 9 to take on Phuket roads

A governor plays the trumpet about very temporarily 'backround employment' during a movie sh...(Read More)


Government discloses Senate selectors

The Junta said 'thanks' to the Senate selectors for their service to the Junta, and rewarded...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: Bitter pill

Yeah, Bangkok Phuket has been exorbitant for years, and since Silirot was taken over by them its pri...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: Bitter pill

Bangkok Hospital tried to charge me 2,700 baht for a 30 day supply of meds. They finally gave me the...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: Bitter pill

now I only go the Bumrungrad, hospitals in Phuket cannot be trusted, patients are just cash cows to...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: Bitter pill

After being given a false diagnosis for recurrent cancer based on suspect blood results, I had CT sc...(Read More)


Lottery office offers cash to nab dodgy vendors

Lottery Vendors,... the law is the law. When you have to pay yourself already 85 B for a ticket, you...(Read More)


Dengue fever epidemic declared

Finally! When Thai Government admits that there is a Dengue/Chikungunya Epidemic it is really saying...(Read More)


Police hunt for ’power cards’ agents

Were the cards not sold with illness curing guarantee? Hahaha....(Read More)


Thanathorn in Phuket hears local fishermen’s woes, critical island issues

Mr Thanatorn may also look into the matter that many thai fishing boats now sail under Myanmar Flag ...(Read More)