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Friday Feb 13, 2009

AUSTRALIA REVEALS SHOCKING EXTENT OF FIRE DESTRUCTION

MELBOURNE February 13 Sapa-AFP

Australian authorities almost doubled Friday the number of houses destroyed in bushfires that killed at least 181 people in southeastern Victoria state, as the full extent of the damage became clear.

Emergency Services Commissioner Bruce Esplin said more than 1,800 homes were razed by the worst wildfires in the nation's history last weekend, far higher than the 1,069 reported just a day earlier.

"The number has jumped from 1,069 yesterday to 1,831 properties today," Esplin told reporters.

"That's as a result of more on-ground resources, more aerial resources provided by the ADF (Australian Defence Force) to assist in the understanding and the analysis of the damages caused."

More than 7,000 people have been displaced by the fires, according to Red Cross figures.

Sapa-AFP

 
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