The australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, has announced this Monday, that the Government will invest 2,000 million australian dollars (1.243 million euros) to a national fund for the reparation of the damage caused by the fires that are burning in Australia. The flames have taken since the beginning of this season of fires nearly six million hectares of land and have cost the lives of 25 people, 15 of them from the beginning of the year.
“We are dedicating an initial figure of 2,000 million dollars for a new recovery fund for the forest fires, to ensure that families, farmers and business owners affected by these unprecedented fires get the support they need,” said the prime minister in his Twitter account.
In a press conference, the president explained that the new spending will mean a reduction in the budget surplus, which the Government forecast for this year of 5,000 million dollars ($3.109 million). “But this surplus is not what's important to me, what matters to me is the human cost,” said Morrison. “This is an investment initial and additional. If more is needed, and the cost is higher, more money would go”, has added a prime minister who has been harshly criticized by the opposition and the public opinion during this crisis.
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The rains in the south of the country have brought some relief for the foci are still active, after that last Thursday the State of Victoria asked for it to 100,000 people that evacuasen the areas of greatest risk. Victoria is one of the States with the higher temperatures these days, where they have burnt more than 800,000 hectares, and there are still 14 active foci. Despite the improvement, the smoke from the fires has reached this Monday at Melbourne, its capital, and the second most important city of the country, covering it with an air of “very poor quality”, according to the meteorological services. It is expected that the smoke will not clear until the end of the week.
The premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, has called on citizens via Twitter to stay in their homes with closed sales in the as far as possible. “A big part of our State is covered in smoke due to the fires in Victoria and Tasmania. As a result, young children, people 65 years and older, pregnant women and people with heart disease, and lung are at particular risk,” he warned Andrews. The smoke has even reached parts of New Zealand, approximately 2,000 kilometres away.
Daniel Andrews has announced the creation of a new agency for assistance against forest fires in the State, which allocated 50 million australian dollars (31 million euros). “It may be years before communities to recover properly so devastating forest fires,” he said.
Another of the most affected regions are New South Wales (capital Sydney). It is estimated that only in this State of the southeast of the country, about 480 million animals have died due to this devastating wave of fires, according to Chris Dickman, professor of Ecology at the University of Sydney. And the situation may worsen, since it is a long summer ahead. The commissioner of the Rural Service of Fire brigade of New South Wales, Shane Fitzsimmons, estimated in December that only in this region they were at risk of burning some 20 million hectares of forest.
The fire season has started much earlier than is normal in Australia (summer begins in the southern hemisphere on December 21), with the fires ravaging much of the country since the month of November. According to local media, the flames have devastated an area equivalent to two times the size of Belgium.Updated Date: 06 January 2020, 13:00