Australia fires: Navy rescues stranded from ravaged Mallacoota
About 800 people trapped by fire in the town of Mallacoota are expected to board the HMAS Choules….
The Australian navy has begun evacuating hundreds of people trapped in the fire-ravaged town of Mallacoota on the Victoria coast.
Two ships, HMAS Choules and MV Sycamore, will pick up about 1,000 people, MP Darren Chester said.
Mr Chester called it an “unprecedented mass relocation”. Conditions were “smoky but fine”, he added.
Some 4,000 residents and tourists fled to the beach on Monday night, when racing bushfires encircled the town.
The military evacuated around 60 people by air last night.
By Thursday night, 963 had signed up for Friday’s naval evacuations, with a few more doing so this morning, Commander Scott Houlihan said.
The evacuees will sail to Port Welshpool, local media reported – a 16-hour voyage down the Victoria coast.
The larger ship, HMAS Choules, has a “few hundred beds”. Further trips are possible, depending on demand.
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