Major Wildfires Sweep Through Australia, 100 People Go Missing
It is likely that climate change augmented the aggressiveness of these wildfires, some say
Police officers in Australia are now doing their best in trying to locate as many as 100 people who have gone missing after massive wildfires have swept through southern Tasmania.Information made available to the general public thus far does not mention any human casualties, and Australian officials hope that soon enough said 100 individuals will be found alive.
“Until we've had the opportunity to do all the screening that we need to do at each of those premises, we can't say for certain that there hasn't been a human life or more than one human life lost as a result of these fires,” stated Police Commissioner Scott Tilyard.
Given Australia's climate, wildfires such as this one are a common sight during the summer months, yet some say that climate change and global warming might also have a say in upping their already aggressive nature.
Interestingly enough, the country's Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, agrees with this opinion. Thus, in one of her most recent interviews, she argued as follows:
“We live in a country that is hot and dry and where we sustain very destructive fire periodically. Whilst you would not put any one event down to climate change, we do know over time that as a result of climate change we are going to see more extreme weather events and conditions.”
ZeeNews reports that this particular wildfire in southern Tasmania has caused significant structural damages, meaning that roughly 70 buildings in the town of Dunalley have been burned to the ground.
For the time being, fires continue to burn in southern and northwest Tasmania, and conditions are expected to worsen as temperatures and wind speeds state-wide continue to increase to 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) and 80 kilometers per hour ( 50 miles per hour), respectively.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard wished to warn the residents of New South Wales in particular, seeing how this Australian state witnessed as many as 90 fires taking over several of its regions.