Forecasts of rain expected to bring some respite but risk of landslides and water pollution grows, officials say. Meanwhile, a top climatologist says Australia could become so dry that its residents could become "climate refugees."
Bushfires ravaging Australia have provided a foretaste of the kinds of conditions that could become normal, says Richard Betts, Head of Climate Impacts Research at Britain's Met Office Hadley Centre.
Tens of thousands rally across the country to demand PM Scott Morrison's conservative government cut back on fossil fuels, as deadly climate-fuelled bushfires burn out of control.
“The fires are still burning. And they’ll be burning for months to come,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. "And so that’s why I outlined today that this is an initial, an additional, investment of $2 billion [Australian dollars]."
A navy landing craft from HMAS Choules docked in the town of Mallacoota, where residents who had been stuck on the foreshore since New Year's Eve clambered aboard with family, pets and a few belongings.
Townpeople in Cobargo, New South Wales yell at Morrison, make obscene gestures, and call him an "idiot" to criticise him for lack of equipment to deal with bushfires in town.
Opposition Labor Party has pressed the government to consider compensation for volunteer firefighters. Calls for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to resign have grown after the public learnt he was holidaying in Hawaii during the bushfire emergency.
Australian Prime Minister Morrison visited the Rural Fire Service (RFS) headquarters in Sydney, after returning on Saturday night from a holiday in Hawaii that drew sharp criticism as the wildfires crisis in his home state deepened.
Australia’s most populous state was paralysed by “catastrophic” fire conditions amid soaring temperatures, while one person died as wildfires also ravaged the country’s southeast.
Thousands of firefighters have been deployed to try and extinguish the flames.
Average temperatures of 40.9 degrees Celsius on Tuesday beat the previous record of 40.3 degrees Celsius in January 2013, the Bureau of Meteorology said.
There was little hope of finding the missing alive after overnight aerial reconnaissance flights found no signs of life on White Island after the volcanic eruption.
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