Australia — Bushfires have destroyed around 30 homes in south-eastern Australia. The area is experiencing record temperatures, with the Gippsland region suffering the worst of the blazes. Authorities believe that the fires may have been started deliberately.
Around 500 firefighters are attempting to control the fires, which are threatening to damage electricity lines into Melbourne, as well as private properties. The city is already experiencing rolling blackouts and power cuts as residents are having to rely on air conditioning units, causing huge power surges. Meanwhile, the heat has caused major transport problems too, buckling railway tracks across the city, while an explosion at an electrical substation has left over 300,000 homes without power.
Thankfully, there have been no deaths reported as a result of the wildfires, although the soaring temperatures have taken their toll – around 20 deaths, mainly of elderly people, have been reported. Weather forecasters are predicting some relief though, and temperatures have now fallen to around 30˚C.