Australia fires: Navy rescues stranded from ravaged Mallacoota
January 3, 2020 12:14 pm
Tourists and residents have been stranded on Mallacoota beach [Source: BBC]
The Australian navy has begun an operation to evacuate hundreds of people trapped in the fire-ravaged town of Mallacoota.
The HMAS Choules is expected to take up to 1,000 people.
Some 4,000 residents and tourists have been stranded on the beach since Monday night when fires cut roads and engulfed the town, in the state of Victoria.
Thousands are fleeing parts of neighbouring New South Wales, where a state of emergency is in force.
Since September fires have killed 18 people in the two states.
More than 1,200 homes have been burnt. At least 28 people remain missing after fires this week alone.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has come under attack for his response to the fires.
He was heckled by angry locals in Cobargo, New South Wales, and had to cut short his visit to the fire-hit town.