Left Menu
Development News Edition

First Australian bushfire evacuees land in Melbourne

First Australian bushfire evacuees land in Melbourne
Image Credit: ANI

The first of thousands of residents and vacationers stranded on a beach in southeastern Australia landed near Melbourne on Saturday morning after a 20-hour journey by ship, relieved to escape terrifying smoke and fire.

They were rescued from Mallacoota, where 4,000 people fled to the waterfront on New Year's Eve as fires ripped through the town in one of the communities worst hit by wildfires burning across three states in southern Australia. Extensive bushfires have killed 21 people so far since September and destroyed more than 5 million hectares (13 million acres) of land.

"For someone who's never been in a fire, it's very, very, frightening. I'm so happy to be here," said Emily Wellington, a 16-year-old from Melbourne who had gone to Mallacoota for a two-week holiday with family friends. She and two other 16-year-olds were among the first 58 evacuated as they have asthma.

"They wanted us to get out so we don't get sick," Wellington said. They spoke to reporters outside a relief center about 65 kilometers (40 miles) southeast of Melbourne shortly after getting off the navy's MV Sycamore ship at Hastings, with little kids and their parents, elderly people and even some pet dogs.

A much bigger ship, carrying about 1,000 people, is due to arrive on Saturday afternoon, with buses lined up to ferry evacuees to the local recreation centre and Melbourne's convention centre. "We've never had to deal with anything like this in our shire's history," the mayor of Mornington Peninsula Shire, Sam Hearn, told reporters outside the Somerville Recreation Centre which had been turned into a relief centre.

One of the teens on the first ship, Darcy Brown, lost her family home in Mallacoota, which they had just moved into a month ago. "It was so devastating to see. All the tin is flat to the ground. Some of the bricks are still standing," Brown told reporters.

She said the fires hit the town suddenly. "Very scary. It was so dusty, smoky. The sky was red one minute, then completely black the next," she said.

Remarkably relaxed and chatty on Saturday, the girls said they had slept and eaten well on the navy boat. "It was so comfortable on the ship," Wellington said.

Her friend Tahnee Meehan told Reuters her parents had stayed on in Mallacoota, waiting to drive back in her father's truck when the one road out of town reopens, as he needs the truck for his job as an electrician. Authorities have said it might take weeks to reopen the road.

Back in Melbourne, the girls were eager to shower and put their smoke-tainted clothes in the wash. What were they going to do first?

"Hug my parents, definitely," Wellington said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.



Future of Food: Technology fostering the road to global food security

Technological innovation can help address most of the pressing issues facing the world today including food security by enhancing productivity, improving financial services, managing resources, addressing environmental concerns, etc....

Conspiracy theories on COVID 19: Legislators, Scientists, and Journalists all joined the Caravan

Conspiracy theories are not new for virus epidemics. There have been conspiracy theories on HIV-AIDS, Polio Vaccines, Ebola Virus, and several other diseases as well. However, what makes the 2019 Novel Coronavirus different from others is ...

Now it’s a war, Uganda deploys army to combat locust swarms

Its for the first time after 1986, the locust swarms have attacked Uganda twice in a season. With the increasing number of countries of Africa under attack by locust swarms, the problem seems to have taken a regional paradigm. Its very diff...

Top 10 Fake News, Myths and Realities on 2019 Novel Coronavirus COVID 19

With nearly 1500 deaths by January 14 and around 65,000 infections in China, the Novel Coronavirus 2019 has become one of the worst health epidemics of the 21st Century. However, 8,573 people have been cured but the rumor mongers are a...


Latest News

Dozens allowed off Japan virus-hit ship have 'symptoms': minister

Tokyo, Feb 26 AFP Dozens of passengers who were allowed off a coronavirus-stricken cruise ship have developed symptoms including fever and will be asked to take tests for the virus, Japans health minister said Wednesday. The government has ...

Four dacoits arrested with arms in West Bengal

Four dacoits were arrested near here in West Bengals South 24 Parganas districtand a cache of arms and ammunition seized from their possession in early hours of Wednesday, police said.Acting on a tip-off, police personnel conducted a search...

Lyon are a dangerous team: Sarri ahead of Champions League clash

Ahead of the clash against Lyon, Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri termed his opponents as a dangerous team. Lyon is a technical team with elements of acceleration and physicality. They are a dangerous team. Therefore, we need to play well. W...

FACTBOX-Airlines suspend flights due to coronavirus outbreak

Airlines have been suspending flights or modifying service in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Below are details in alphabetical orderAIRLINES THAT HAVE CANCELLED ALL FLIGHTS TO MAINLAND CHINA American Airlines - Extends suspension of...

Give Feedback