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Australia bush fires ease but death toll rises

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Australia bush fires ease but death toll rises


Firefighters in Australia are continuing to battle scores of blazes across a huge swathe of the country. Scorching weather, combined with tinder dry conditions, have produced the worst bushfire crisis in Australian history.

Survivors tell of people being burned alive and of whole towns going up in flames.

Sharon Donovan, a Marysville resident, saying: “I couldn’t get out of town so we just went down to the roundabout down there and watched the town burn.”

Senior constable Gavan Skerritt, Victoria Police, saying: “The main shopping street is gone – the post office, the supermarket.”

Animals too were caught in the tracks of the wildfires. Cooler, less windy conditions are helping fire fighters but scores of blazes are still raging in the southern state of Victoria and in neighbouring New South Wales. This is Australia s worst national disaster on more than a century. The cost of rebuilding homes and even whole communities will amount to millions of euros. As the evacuation continue Australians are also reeling from news some of the fires could have been started deliberately. The death toll is rising all the time with local media predicting up to 200 people may have perished.

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