Over 20 people have lost their lives and more than 1,500 homes destroyed so far in the bushfire crisis since September last, according to the Australian government.
International sports and film celebrities, including cricket legend Shane Warne and Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett, have extended their support for communities affected by the devastating bushfires in Australia and the firefighters trying to save homes and lives. Over 20 people have lost their lives and more than 1,500 homes destroyed so far in the bushfire crisis since September last, according to the Australian government.
Donations are pouring in from across the globe as the deadly bushfires continued devastations. Australian Cricket legend Shane Warne on Monday announced auctioning off his prized ‘baggy green’ Test cap. The auction is expected to raise more than 300,000 Australian dollars. The 50-year-old wore the cap throughout his 145-Test career, in which he took a record 708 wickets.
Collingwood premiership player Dayne Beams also put his cherished 2010 medallion for auction to raise funds for the bushfire victims. While popular US singer Pink donated 500,000 Australian dollars, Australian actor Nicole Kidman and her husband Keith Urban donated 5 million Australian dollars. Australian film star Chris Hemsworth donated one million Australian dollars for the bushfire rescue effort.
Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett expressed deep concern over the ongoing crisis and called the bushfires a “global disaster” during the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California. Other actors, including actress Patricia Arquette and Russell Crowe, who grew up in Sydney, also delivered a message at the award function calling for greater action to fight climate change.
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday telephoned Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to offer support and extended his condolences. “The President expressed deep concern for those affected and condolences for the firefighters and others who lost their lives. President Trump offered United States support to assist the Australian government as it battles these terrible fires,” the White House said in a readout released in Washington on Tuesday.
Morrison thanked Trump for the support provided so far, including the US firefighters who have joined the bushfire rescue efforts. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and the premier of the Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare, have also telephoned Morrison and extended their support.
Meanwhile, Victoria’s premier Daniel Andrews on Tuesday warned people across the state to be vigilant in the face of extreme weather forecast for Thursday and Friday. Fourteen fires are still burning in Victoria. Victoria’s Wangaratta and Bairnsdale cities are set to hit 39 and 38 degrees on Friday, according to weather forecast.
In South Australia, the Country Fire Service (CFS) has warned of high fire danger on Thursday, even as 130 firefighters continue to deal with the crisis. CFS Chief Officer Mark Jones said the vulnerable areas included Snug Cove, around Stokes Bay and Bark Hut, and north of Vivonne Bay. He said more firefighters would be sent to the Kangaroo island ahead of Thursday’s high fire danger.
More than 50 homes have been destroyed in the Kangaroo Island bushfires with a death toll at two so far. A pilot Dick Lang and his surgeon son Clayton Lang died in the fire. In New South Wales, police on Monday said they were searching for two more men who were missing along the South Coast. On Tuesday morning, there were 130 fires burning around the state.