News / Asia

Australian Prime Minister Tours Fire-Ravaged Tasmania

An aerial photo shows a view of Dunalley after a wildfire destroyed around 80 buildings in and around the small town, east of the Tasmanian capital of Hobart, Australia, January 5, 2013.
An aerial photo shows a view of Dunalley after a wildfire destroyed around 80 buildings in and around the small town, east of the Tasmanian capital of Hobart, Australia, January 5, 2013.
VOA News
Australia's prime minister has toured the southern island of Tasmania, where four days of wildfires have damaged or destroyed hundreds of structures and left around a hundred people missing.

Australian firefighters, using helicopters and planes, are still battling the blazes on Tasmania, where the fires flared Friday after a record summer heat wave  pushed temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius.  

Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who flew to Tasmania Monday, warned that the state of New South Wales, including the capital of Sydney, also would experience extreme heat Tuesday, when the wildfire risk would be high.  Similar hot and windy conditions are forecast for the neighboring state of Victoria.

Emergency workers are searching for about 100 people who are missing in the fire area.  There have been not yet been any confirmed reports of deaths.

Wildfires are common during the Australian summer.  In February of 2009, hundreds of fires across Victoria state killed 173 people.

  • Wildfire smoke rises from hills behind the village of Numeralla in New South Wales state, Australia, January 8, 2013.
  • Smoke rises from the Yarrabin bushfire, burning out of control near Cooma, about 100 kilometers south of Canberra, Australia, January 8, 2013.
  • Police Rescue Helicopter crewman Matthew Drumm looks at a wildfire in Dunalley, east of Hobart, Australia, January 5, 2013.
  • Houses destroyed by a wildfire are seen in ruins in Dunalley, east of Hobart, Australia, January 5, 2013.
  • Houses destroyed by a wildfire are seen in ruins in Dunalley, east of Hobart, Australia, January 5, 2013.
  • Smoke from a wildfire billows over beach goers at Carlton, east of Hobart, Australia, January 4, 2013.
  • Smoke from wildfires is seen east of Hobart in the Australian island state of Tasmania January 4, 2013.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

China to Invest $20 billion In India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high profile visit More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid