Mother Nature brings her stone to the building in Australia. Thursday, while the country is still plagued by huge fires, which have been raging since September, rain fell on the affected regions. As a result, in particular, an improvement in 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 . In the neighboring state of Victoria, the thunderstorms that erupted Wednesday evening helped dissipate the cloud of toxic fumes released by the fires under which Melbourne had been suffocating since the beginning of the week and which disrupted the Tennis Open.
One billion animals may have perished
"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.
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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. 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), larger than 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.