/Australian bushfires: New South Wales declares week-long state of emergency

Australian bushfires: New South Wales declares week-long state of emergency

Published on Thursday, January 2, 2020

The Australian state of New South Wales has declared a week-long state of emergency starting on Friday as bushfires continue to spread.

‘Tourist leave zones’ have been established in a vast part of the South Coast, from Batemans Bay to the border of Victoria.

Holidaymakers are being told to leave before Saturday because dangerous conditions will be ‘the same or worse than New Year’s Eve’.

“If you are planning to visit the South Coast this weekend it is not safe. Do not be in this area,” said the warning.

Since September, 18 people have died in the Australian bushfires and more than 1,200 homes have been destroyed across NSW and Victoria. At least 17 people remain missing after fires this week.

The state of emergency starts at 08:00 on Friday morning (21:00 GMT on Thursday) and will last for seven days.

It allows local authorities to carry out forced evacuations, road closures and anything else needed to keep residents, tourists and property safe.

According to the BBC, long lines of cars have clogged highways leading back towards Sydney and Canberra.

Supplies of fuel and essentials in shops are running low in some towns.

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