Several residents and tourists in a seaside town of Australia were trapped in the public buildings and some on the beaches on December 31 by severe wildfires, according to the authorities. The coastal town of Mallacoota was engulfed by the severe wildfires. A lot of residents and tourists were forced to head towards the local gymnasium or waded in the waters to prevent them from the embers that swept through the town. Co-owner of a Mallacoota supermarket, Robert Phillips said that he sheltered around 45 people in his store and many moved to the town's main wharf.
The authorities in Australia said that three people have been killed in New South Wales and four were missing in Victoria after wildfires sparked both states over the past 24 hours. The catastrophic bushfires in Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) could lead to the cancellation of iconic Sydney fireworks on New Year, said an official. New South Wales fire commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said that if the fire service determines the fireworks to be too risky, it won’t be allowed. Though New Year's Eve fireworks across regional NSW have been canceled, no such decision has been made for Sydney’s fireworks.
An online petition was initiated six weeks ago demanding the cancellation of the fireworks and has been signed by more than 2,60,000 people. A City of Sydney spokesperson has reportedly rejected the idea of cancelling the show and said that it would seriously hamper Syndey's businesses. He appreciated the concerns of the public but added that preparations and planning for the New Year’s Eve started 15 months ago.
As bushfires rage across Australia with temperature over 40-degree Celcius and in some places near to 50 degrees, citizens grapple with the decision to leave or stay in their homes. As per news reports, several veterans who have an emotional attachment with their houses are refusing to leave their houses even when the fires approach. Though the fires are fatal, many people chose to stay to defend their properties at considerable risk. Winds and temperature fueled the fires on December 21 and fires swept through the town of Balmoral, located just a couple of kilometers from Yanderra, prompting New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian to declare to the media that there was “not much left”.