Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

100 missing as bushfires raze Tasmanian towns

Up to 100 people are missing after bushfires devastated parts of Tasmania and destroyed scores of properties in recent days.

As a dozen fires continued to rage on the island yesterday, emergency teams searched burnt-out houses and cars in the worst affected towns, including Boomer Bay, pictured left, and the once picturesque fishing hamlet of Dunalley, where 65 properties including the school and police station were razed.

About 2,500 people were evacuated by boat from the Tasman Peninsula, south-east of Hobart, after a massive fire tore through a clutch of small towns on Friday.

Residents of Dunalley said they were forced to dive into a canal to escape the approaching flames.

The bushfires are Australia's worst since the "Black Saturday" disaster of 2009, when 173 people died in Victoria. Kathy Marks

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