Australian bushfires death toll rises to four, Karratha blaze being monitored

By Colin Packham SYDNEY (Reuters) - A man's body has been found in burnt-out bushland in New South Wales (NSW) state, taking the death toll from bushfires that have swept across Australia's east coast to four, police said on Thursday.

Reuters November 14, 2019 06:11:03 IST
Australian bushfires death toll rises to four, Karratha blaze being monitored

Australian bushfires death toll rises to four Karratha blaze being monitored

By Colin Packham

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A man's body has been found in burnt-out bushland in New South Wales (NSW) state, taking the death toll from bushfires that have swept across Australia's east coast to four, police said on Thursday.

Wildfires have destroyed about 2.5 million acres (1 million hectares) of farmland and bush over the past week, fuelled by tinder-dry conditions after three years of drought that experts say has been exacerbated by climate change.

It was not immediately clear when the man died but the body was found near the town of Kempsey by local residents just before midnight on Tuesday, police said.

"The man is yet to be formally identified, however, it's believed to be the body of a 58-year-old man who lived in a shed nearby," NSW Police said in an emailed statement.

Kempsey is just over 400km (249 miles) north of Sydney, and has suffered under extreme conditions in recent weeks. Some 300 homes have been destroyed in NSW alone in recent days as flames stretched from the state's north coast to suburban Sydney.

Bushfires are common in Australia's hot, dry summers, but the ferocity and early arrival of the fires in the southern spring this year has caught many by surprise.

While conditions across Australia's east have eased, temperatures across the country's west coast are forecast to soar on Thursday.

Authorities said on Thursday they were monitoring a fire on the outskirts of Karratha, a major gas-processing hub on Australia's west coast. Temperatures are forecast to hit 43 degrees Celsius (109.4°F) on Thursday in nearby Port Hedland, the world's largest iron ore export hub.

The fires have sparked increasingly acrimonious debate over climate and fire-prevention policies, with the ruling conservative Liberal Party and the minor opposition Australian Greens exchanging barbs.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said earlier in the week that linking the fires to the government's support of the coal industry was "the ravings of some pure, enlightened and woke capital city greenies".

(Reporting by Colin Packham in Sydney; additional reporting by Jonathan Barrett; editing by Jane Wardell)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

The forces fighting in Ethiopia's Tigray conflict
World

The forces fighting in Ethiopia's Tigray conflict

ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) - Ethiopia's military is fighting battle-hardened troops in the northern Tigray region, threatening stability around the Horn of Africa. Here are some facts on the forces: THE NATIONAL MILITARY: THE ENDF The Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) has around 140,000 active personnel, the vast majority of them in the army, according to the Janes security data group. Its troops have been tested by Islamist militants in Somalia and rebel groups in Ethiopia's border regions, as well as a two-year border war with Eritrea followed by an 18-year standoff that only ended in 2018.

Turkey to impose measures to combat coronavirus, Erdogan says
World

Turkey to impose measures to combat coronavirus, Erdogan says

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that the government will impose tighter measures to fight with the coronavirus and impose partial lockdowns on weekends across the country. Speaking after the cabinet meeting, Erdogan also said all schools will remain closed until the year-end and all restaurants will only work by delivery

Brazil to track illegal Amazon wood exports using isotopes, president says
World

Brazil to track illegal Amazon wood exports using isotopes, president says

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday his government in coming days will name countries that are importing wood illegally extracted from the Amazon. Addressing a BRICS summit of big developing economies, Bolsonaro said Brazilian police had developed a way of tracking wood exported from the Amazon using isotopes.