Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Incredible infrared pictures taken from space show Australia burning as plumes of thick smoke are sent soaring into the atmosphere

Infrared pictures taken from space show thick plumes of toxic smoke billowing from the catastrophic bushfires in Australia.

Satellite images taken on Saturday showed wildfires burning around East Gippsland and Kosciuszko National Park.

The eerie photos showed the scale of the blazes, after high winds and 46C heat on Saturday increased the ferocity of the fires. 

Officials confirmed more than 1,500 homes had been destroyed - 1,365 in NSW alone - with more than 300 fires still ravaging the parched land across the country.

Late on Saturday, thousands of residents in fire-ravaged Victoria were given evacuation orders as out-of-control blazes threatened several towns.

Up to 24 communities were isolated on Saturday night as the Princes Highway closed between Orbost in southern Victoria and the NSW border, the Herald Sun reported. 

Cann River was evacuated via an old road to Orbost as an out-of-control fire threatened lives and homes.
A bus and 40 cars convoyed out of the town at 3pm.

Residents in Freeburgh, Harrietville, Smoko and Wandiligong were also told their homes and lives are in danger as fires spread due to the high winds. 

Of around 100,000 residents in East Gippsland, 70 per cent have fled.

Residents over in NSW were begged to limit their energy use, with people asked to not turn on dishwashers or washing machines.

It came as key lines in the Snowy Mountains were ravaged by fires, causing around 15,000 to lose power.

Fires continued to spread in the state overnight, with residents of Kangaroo Valley, a lush green area west of the popular tourist town of Berry, being told it's too late to leave.

As of early Sunday morning, there were 150 bushfires in NSW - seven at emergency level - and 50 fires burning in Victoria - 13 of which are at emergency level. 

Evacuations are underway and emergency alerts are in place in NSW, Victoria and South Australia as authorities predict the devastating bushfires will continue burning until at least March. 

At least 23 people have been killed in blazes across the country since the bushfire season began in October, there are six people still missing in fire-affected regions

NEW SOUTH WALES/ACT
  • Two people are unaccounted - one near Bodalla on the South Coast and the other person from Bombala near the Victorian border
  • At least 150 bushfires were burning in NSW on Sunday
  • 18 people dead 
  • 3.6 million hectares burned, greater than the size of Belgium 
  • At least 1,365 homes confirmed destroyed 
VICTORIA  
  • Two people dead, four missing
  • About 50 bushfires burning
  • More than 784,000 hectares burned
  • 330 structures confirmed destroyed but significantly more expected 
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
  • Three people, including two from Kangaroo Island, are dead
  • 17 bushfires burning, four of significance
  • More than 100,000 hectares burned
  • 88 homes confirmed destroyed  
  • About 600 properties on Kangaroo Island remain without power with SA Power Networks warning it may be some time before crews can access the fire ground to assess damage 
QUEENSLAND
  • 33 bushfires burning
  • 250,000 hectares burned
  • 45 homes confirmed destroyed
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
  • More than 35 bushfires burning, two of significance
  • 1.5 million hectares burned
  • One home confirmed destroyed
TASMANIA
  • 23 bushfires burning, two of significance
  • 30,000 hectares burned
  • Two homes confirmed destroyed
NORTHERN TERRITORY
  • Five bushfires burning
  • Five homes confirmed destroyed

(Source: Daily Mail)

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