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SYDNEY – Australia is warning of a “catastrophic” bushfire threat to its largest city Sydney and surrounding areas tomorrow.
Residents in vulnerable communities are being urged to leave and seek shelter in shopping centres.
At least three people are dead and thousands have been displaced by a weekend of bushfires in Australia.
Yesterday more than 100 blazes were still burning across New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison – who was heckled by a climate change protester as he briefed reporters – refused to be drawn on whether climate change could have contributed to the fires.
“My only thoughts today are with those who have lost their lives and their families,” he said.
Sydney is facing potentially catastrophic conditions for the first time since new fire warnings were introduced a decade ago. The Hunter region to the north is also at risk.
Temperatures are expected to reach 37C in the city tomorrow. Conditions are expected to be worse than on Friday, when the firestorms began tearing through parts of eastern Australia.
“Under these conditions, these fires will spread quickly and threaten homes and lives,” NSW Rural Fire Service said in a statement.
Schools in vulnerable areas will be closed and firefighters from New Zealand have been flown in to help as weary emergency crews prepare for a fresh onslaught. (BBC)