Australia has been ravaged by wildfires all year, with numerous ecosystems being destroyed and animal life being lost. However, humans have begun evacuating the country in certain jurisdictions. This marks the first instance that thousands of tourists and residents have to leave a specific destination because of climate change. It’s estimated that 1,000 tourists were trapped on the Victoria Coast in the town of Mallacoota. This prompted two ships from the Australian Navy to be called for evacuation. The HMAS Choules and MV Sycamore docked at Western Port in Mallacoota, where thousands were rescued from the onslaught blaze.
This mass evacuation of residents and tourists saw a total of 5,000.00 individuals leave the beach. Local bushfires and wildfires that were surrounding the town are less than 500m from the sandy beaches. It took the Australian Navy more than sixteen hours to reach Western Port, with these citizens and tourists having the wait for prolonged periods before being rescued. Roads have been cut off and therefore residences who own cars were unable to use them to flee the raging fires. In additon to the navy, sixty individuals were also rescued by helicopter as access to the beach was impossible. Subsequently, all people in Mallacoota Town have been evacuated. It should be noted that this evacuation process was voluntary, that people could’ve remained home. The 963 individuals unaccounted for took their vessels from the beach for evacuation. Town officials have stated that nobody stays in the area, which includes family-pets.
These ever-growing bushfires prompted the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, to implement a state of disaster in Mallacoota. This state of emergency comes after the forecast predicts stronger winds for the weekend, reaching upwards of 80km or higher. This will cause these bushfires to extend by drastic amounts, forcing more significant portions of the country to be evacuated pre-emptively. It’s estimated that the fire season won’t end in 2019 – 20, causing for upwards of sixteen months of bushfires.
Additional communities were evacuated in New South Wales, which has experienced its most extended state of emergency, which has surpassed several days. Since the fire seasons began, more than twenty individuals have been killed in these two states. Missing individuals are estimated to be in the low fifties, with most unexpected to be found. These bushfires have also destroyed more than thirteen homes.
The Prime Minister
Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia, has received significant backlash towards his comments on climate change. Communities in New South Wales and Victoria expressed their anger towards the prime minister, with his rebuttal being that they acted poorly due to the suffering of these fires. There’s a higher chance than ever that Morrison won’t be re-elected going forward.