The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warned Tuesday that the smoke caused by the devastating fires that affect Australia, already detected across the Pacific in South America, could go around the world in the current conditions. “Satellites of the US Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that smoke, visible already in Chile and Argentina, is on the way to circumnavigate the planet,” WMO spokeswoman Clare Nullis told a news conference in Geneva.
The fires in Australia, which caused more than twenty deaths, destroyed hundreds of houses and generated serious economic losses, also causing worsening air quality which is “a threat to health,” recalled the official source. In particular, smoke can impact the health of more sensitive groups, such as children, pregnant women and the elderly, and affect those patients with respiratory and heart disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) spokeswoman added at the same press conference. ), Fadela Chaib.
Fires in Australia «are causing a huge ddestruction of wildlife, ecosystems and environment«, Said Nullis, who said that although in recent days there has been some respite from the slight drop in temperatures, the worst could be yet to come, since summer in the southern hemisphere is just beginning.
The WMO spokeswoman said that whileClimate change is not the only cause of this wave of fires, favored by an unusually dry weather in the eastern Indian and humid in the western, global warming is “without a doubt” playing a role in the catastrophic situation in Australia. “Reports of 2018 have already pointed to a long-term increase in extreme weather in Australia, and the rise in temperatures, around a degree Celsius in relation to the pre-industrial era, is contributing to this change,” said Nullis.
For its part, the Australian Police has warned that some people are taking advantage of the wave of fires to perpetrate robberies in evacuated locations or to raise money under the false promise of helping the victims, so it has urged the population to exercise caution.
The Police of New South Wales has claimed by the mouth of its ‘number two’, Gary Worboys, that they are working to combat the “opportunist thieves” who are trying to make a profit from the tragedy. Three people, including a 17-year-old teenager, have already been charged with the alleged commission of crimes.
“It is hard to understand that there are people who try to take advantage at the expense of communities that have already lost a lot “, Worboys has lamented when talking about criminal behavior that he considers” absolutely unacceptable “.
The head of Police and Emergency Services in the Government of New South Wales, David Elliott, has also warned that those who try to take advantage of the situation they fall “in the lowest” and must therefore face the full weight of the law. “At a time when we are seeing unprecedented generosity from all parts of New South Wales, it is unthinkable that someone can take advantage of those who need our support,” he added.
The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission has also acknowledged that it has received “numerous” complaints of alleged collection fraud of funds, so you have enabled a specific contact line to receive all complaints. The head of the commission, Rod Simms, has warned that the deception can result in penalties exceeding one million Australian dollars (more than 670,000 euros).