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Australia bushfires: Thousands race to beaches for safety as death toll climbs to 21

“Our condolences to those who continue to suffer and many of those who are left in absolutely disastrous situations as we speak,” Morrison added.

SNS | New Delhi |

As hundreds of bushfires still continued to rage in Australia on Saturday amid “catastrophic” conditions in the south of the country where two more deaths have been confirmed with which its death toll climbed to 21.

The two deaths occurred on Kangaroo Island, some 112 km from Adelaide, South Australia, where more than 100,000 hectares have been razed, mostly in Flinders Chase National Park, which is home to 60,000 kangaroos and 50,000 koala bears, Efe news reported.

PM Scott Morrison said, “This is taking a very heavy toll,” adding to it that more than 1,500 homes lost to fires across the country since September.

“Our condolences to those who continue to suffer and many of those who are left in absolutely disastrous situations as we speak,” Morrison added.

On Friday, PM Morrison said that he was inclined to cancel an official trip to India planned for this month in order to deal with a bushfire crisis ravaging parts of his country.

Morrison was due to visit India from Jan 13 to 16 at the invitation of Prime Minister Modi.

About 4,000 people in the town of Mallacoota in Victoria headed to the waterfront after the main road was cut off.

On Sunday, PM Morrison announced a compensation scheme for volunteer firefighters in New South Wales (NSW), who have been battling the catastrophic bushfires in the state.

Earlier, the New South Wales (NSW) state had declared a state of emergency, with bushfire conditions expected to worsen over the coming days as a record-breaking heatwave sweeps across the country.

In November, New South Wales’ Rural Fire Service said Thursday morning there were about 60 fires active, with 30 of them uncontained in the state where some 1,200 firefighters tried to mitigate the flames in the face of worsening conditions, such as rising temperatures and wind.