World Australia: rain finally falls on fires, air quality improves

Australia: rain finally falls on fires, air quality improves

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The weather services forecast other precipitation this week. It could be the longest rain period since the start of the fire crisis.

Finally hope. The rain fell Thursday on the regions of Australia affected by the gigantic fires which rage since September, offering in particular an improvement of the air quality. "Good rain" fell Thursday morning in the state of New South Wales (southeast of Australia), where the most important blaze is located, said the local meteorological office .

READ ALSO >> Fires in Australia: fine particles, harmful to health and the climate

In neighboring Victoria, thunderstorms that erupted Wednesday evening helped dispel the cloud of toxic smoke from the fires that had been suffocating Melbourne since the start of the week and that disrupted the Tennis Open.

"Thunderstorms have improved air quality"

"Thunderstorms have improved air quality in most of the state," said the Victoria State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The weather services forecast other precipitation by the weekend. If confirmed, this would be the longest rainy period since the fire crisis started last September.

READ ALSO >> Threatened Koalas: introducing a species to other territories, a false good idea?

These rains will be "our Christmas, birthday, engagement, anniversary, wedding, graduation gifts together. We keep our fingers crossed," the rural fire department said earlier this week. from New South Wales.

At least 28 people died

Since the devastating fires started in September, at least 28 people have died, about 1 billion animals may have died, more than 2,000 homes have been destroyed and an area of ​​100,000 square kilometers (10 million hectares) – more large that the area of ​​South Korea – went up in smoke. Some 30 fires, however, remained out of control Thursday in New South Wales, according to the rural fire service.

Linked to a particularly severe drought in Australia, these fires are aggravated by global warming, while scientists have long predicted that the recurrence of these extreme weather events will only get worse.

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