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熱浪襲澳 林火不斷

2013年01月10日
摘譯自2013年1月7日ENS澳洲,坎培拉報導;沈瑞筠編譯;蔡麗伶審校

澳洲灌木林火災情持續,塔斯馬尼亞部分地區幾成廢墟,據預測報告,這是數十年來最嚴重的火災,澳洲其他地方嚴陣以待。

目前從維多利亞省北部、新南威爾斯省內陸、昆士蘭省中西部、整個西北澳到南部的納拉伯海岸,都受到熱浪侵襲。澳洲氣象局氣候監測專員Karl Braganza警告,「整個澳洲大陸籠罩於熱氣之下。」

 這場森林大火始於塔斯馬尼亞Forcett,接著往南蔓延至塔斯曼半島(攝於2013年1月4日;攝影:Andrew Page)

1月3日起,持續的山火橫掃塔斯馬尼亞東部及東南部及塔斯曼半島,導致家園毀損、道路封閉及輸電系統毀壞。灌木林火6日再次對已成焦土的塔斯曼半島造成災情。消防員奮力救火之際,數個塔斯馬尼亞的自然公園被迫關閉部分園區。據塔斯馬尼亞警政與急難應變署長David O'Byrne說明,「火勢目前仍未受到控制,消防員仍致力於設立防火線及設法撲滅火勢。」

當局目前為整個塔斯馬尼亞設立禁火令。州消防局人員Gavin Freeman表示,「目前無法承受任何新的火災,一週以來,所有民眾都必需確保他們土地上所有火星都已撲滅掉。從事健行、露營的民眾和鄉村遊客,都需要特別提高警覺。」

奧羅拉能源公司表示,由於基礎設備損毀,即便他們的工作人員和承包商在炎熱又嚴峻的條件下努力修復,且將徵調更多工作人員投入,受到火災造成電力中斷影響的民眾可能要等上數週才得以恢復供電。

目前聯邦及省政府,都針對因大火喪失家園的民眾提供緊急財政援助。

由於極度炎熱的空氣團使得澳洲全境籠罩於超過40℃的高溫下,當局已發佈「災難性」火災警報。

維多利亞省北部因超過40℃的高溫而高度戒備。在阿德雷得、墨爾本等城市預估最高溫度可能將會高達45℃左右,內陸的愛麗思泉預設也將出現40℃以上的高溫。

 塔斯馬尼亞淺水湖(Lake Repulse)區的山火(攝影:Toni Fish)

澳洲總理吉拉德(Julia Gillard)6日巡視災區,他警告,「我們現在已能在國內各處看到極端氣候的展現,未來將在新南威爾斯州目睹極端氣候。我們目前知道在新南威爾斯州有接近80個火災,其中11個沒有任何警戒線。」

「如同此次事件的極端的熱氣候影響層面不只限於人類的健康及安全,對農業及園藝部門、基礎設施及交通都會有廣大的衝擊。」氣象局氣象服務署副署長Alasdair Hainsworth表示,「由於之前連續兩年充沛的雨水使得植物累積高度可燃物載量,加上(今年)持續乾燥的氣候提升山火風險。特別是那些移動迅速的草原大火。」

澳洲東南部由於乾燥又猛烈的北風吹襲,預定火災將造成更多的危害。

氣象服務署透過與聯邦及省的緊急服務系統合作,提供他們建議以預防熱浪極可能造成的衝擊。

司馬部長兼災難防治署署長Nicola Roxon指出,「預測下週都將是大熱天,所以澳洲人要做好因應災害的準備。」

「雖然災害無法預測,我們可以先做好準備。在全國的許多區域炎熱及乾燥的條件會增加山火的風險,在地人們認知禁火令與警報是很重要的。」

預報員表示,澳洲東岸最大城雪梨氣溫恐高達43℃,火災指數為「極度危險」。

新南威爾斯全省的禁火令6日晚間頒佈。國家公園及露營地將關閉,易受災區的養老院及易受災人們將被撤離。

雪梨、藍山、紐卡索、臥龍崗市及中央海岸的消防員皆戒備中,以因應任何市區附近的大火緊急情況,也將支援新南威爾斯農村消防局。

新南威爾斯消防隊員Greg Mullins表示,「本日將有數百名新南威爾斯消防救災隊消防員部署到住有1百萬民眾的都會叢林交會區。預期明日將有超級大火發生,類似等級的火災在新南威爾斯已經數年未見。19年前曾有大火燒毀雪梨南邊及北邊超過100棟房子。」

Mullins呼籲,都會叢林交會區的居民,需留意消防局的警報並確保家園已做好防災準備;政府也已發布通告,建議民眾避免在草地附近操作電器設備,也不要在草地附近騎機車。他建議「每位民眾都造訪消防局的網頁,下載灌木林火生存計畫,看完它,這樣一旦山火波及你的產業,你和你的家人才會瞭解應如何應對。」相關資訊可於澳洲農村消防局網頁下載: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au

草原大火已經對消防員產生影響。一位新南威爾斯農村消防局的男性義消在亞斯(Yass)救火時臉部及手部嚴重燒傷,已被直升機送往醫院接受治療。

Bushfires Erupt Under Australia’s ‘Dome of Heat’
CANBERRA, Australia, January 7, 2013 (ENS)

Days of bushfires have left parts of Australia’s island state, Tasmania, in ruins, and now the rest of the country is bracing for what forecasters say is the worst fire danger in decades.

The heatwave covers a huge region, from northern Victoria and inland New South Wales, to central west Queensland, across to north-western Western Australia and south to the Nullarbor coast.

“It’s just an extensive dome of heat over the continent,” warned Dr. Karl Braganza, manager of climate monitoring at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

In southeast and east Tasmania and across the Tasman Peninsula, ongoing bushfires that started January 3 have wrecked homes, closed roads and dropped power lines. The charred Tasman Peninsula again faced disaster last night as a bushfire burned through state forests. Parts of several national parks on Tasmania have been closed as firefighters battle numerous blazes.

Tasmanian Minister for Police and Emergency Management David O’Byrne said, “The fires are yet to be contained and controlled. Firefighters are still working to put boundaries around the fires and to put them out.”

Officials have placed the entire state of Tasmania under a fire ban. State Fire Controller Gavin Freeman said, “Now is not the time to start any new fires and members of the public need to make sure any fires lit on their properties over the last week are completely extinguished. Bushwalkers, campers and tourists in rural areas need to be particularly vigilant.”

Aurora Energy says customers who lost power in the fires may face weeks without electricity, due to loss of infrastructure, although Aurora Energy field staff and contractors are working in “hot and difficult conditions,” with more crews on their way from across Tasmania.”

The federal and state governments are offering emergency financial help for Tasmanians who have lost their homes to the flames.

Now a “catastrophic” fire warning has been issued across Australia ahead of temperatures set to soar above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), driven by an extremely hot air mass.

The state of Victoria has been placed on high alert with the mercury topping 40 degrees in the north of the state.

Temperatures are expected to peak in the mid-40s in the cities of Adelaide and Melbourne and inland locations such as Alice Springs all face temperature forecasts of 40 degrees or higher.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who visited the charred areas of Tasmania Sunday, warned, “We’ve seen many days of extreme weather now in various parts of the country, and we are going to see an extreme weather day tomorrow in New South Wales.”

“We know that there are around 80 fires burning in New South Wales now. Eleven of them are not within control lines,” Gillard said.

The Bureau of Meteorology Assistant Director of Weather Services Alasdair Hainsworth said, “Extreme heat events, such as this one, have wide ranging impacts across agricultural and horticultural sectors, infrastructure and transport, and not least human health and safety.”

“Another concern is the amount of vegetation following two wet years, which has led to high fuel loads, that continue to dry out and raise concerns about increased bushfire risk. Fast moving grassfires are of particular concern,” said Hainsworth.

Increasing fire danger is anticipated in southeast Australia with hot and gusty northerly winds.

The Bureau is providing advice through federal and state emergency services partnerships to help them prepare for the onset of this heatwave and its likely impacts.

“The next week is set to be a scorcher so it’s crucial Australians are prepared in the event disaster strikes,” said Attorney-General and Minister for Emergency Management Nicola Roxon.

“While disasters can be unpredictable, we can all be better prepared. Conditions are hot and dry with an increased risk of bushfires in many areas of the country so it’s crucial that people are aware of fire bans and warnings in their local area,” she said.

In Australia’s largest city, Sydney on the east coast, Tuesday’s temperatures could hit a very hot 43 degrees Celsius, forecasters say. The fire danger is “extreme.”

A total statewide fire ban was imposed last night across New South Wales. National Parks and camping grounds will be closed and nursing homes and vulnerable people in vulnerable areas will be evacuated.

Firefighters across Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Newcastle, Wollongong and the Central Coast are preparing to respond to any bushfire emergencies near urban areas and will also respond to calls from the NSW Rural Fire Service.

New South Wales Fire and Rescue Commissioner Greg Mullins said, “Today hundreds of FRNSW firefighters around the Greater Sydney Area are preparing to deploy to the bushland-urban interface, which is home to around one million people.”

“Tomorrow, we are expecting extremely dangerous bushfire conditions, the likes of which haven’t been seen in NSW for many years. It is 19 years to the day that we saw more than 100 homes destroyed in southern and northern Sydney,” said Mullins.

Commissioner Mullins urged residents in urban-bushland interface areas to heed warnings from the Rural Fire Service and ensure their homes were well prepared against the threat of bushfires. People are warned not to operate electrical machinery near grass and to refrain from riding motorbikes in grassy areas.

“I encourage everyone to visit the RFS website, download a bushfire survival plan and complete it today, so that if a bushfire does impact your property, you and, more importantly, your family know exactly what to do,” Mullins said.

Information on fire danger ratings and a copy of the bushfire survival plan can be found on the Rural Fire Service website:  www.rfs.nsw.gov.au

Grassfires are already taking their toll on firefighters. A male volunteer firefighter from the NSW Rural Fire Service sustained severe burns to his hands and face while fighting a grass fire at Gundaroo, south-east of Yass this afternoon. He has been airlifted to hospital for treatment.

※ 全文及圖片詳見:ENS

※ 本文與 行政院農業委員會 林務局   合作刊登