By Saara Sacranie | 9 January 2020
Catastrophic wildfires have swept across the East coast of Australia, devastating areas such as Victoria, New South Wales and parts of Queensland.
The fires were ignited due to the intense heat during the summer season over the last four months combined with a prolonged drought in the region and strong winds.
The record breaking temperatures over the last four months have resulted in the biggest fires ever recorded in Australia. Salaamedia interviewed Shameema Kolia, the co-founder of Muslim Aid Australia – a non-profit, aid organisation – who relayed devastating statistics regarding the damages caused by the wildfires.
14.5 million acres of land have been destroyed causing major displacement of both animals and humans. More than 1600 homes have been burnt down and approximately 500 million animals and 24 people have died.
The residents of the effected areas have endured major devastation due to the destruction of their homes and require immediate help. Non-Government Organisation (NGOs) are configuring an arrangement with local authorities to provide the victims of the fires with food and water, as well as providing victims with vouchers to cover their immediate and essential needs in the crisis.
The Australian Army is assisting in the rescue and relief of citizens stranded on a beach, unable to escape due to the fires and the ocean trapping them.
According to Kolia, temperatures have dropped and the fires are currently under control. However, more fires are being predicted in the near future as Australia still hasn’t reached its mid-summer, indicating that temperatures may increase further, resulting in more intense and frequent fires in the country.