Australia Closes Several Embassies due to the “Extremely Harmful Air Pollution”World | January 10, 2020, Friday // 11:59| views
Australia's wildfires have led to the closure of a number of embassies in the Canberra capital, where local authorities have threatened to smoke in the area over the weekend due to hot and windy weather, the Financial Times reports.
The head of the Estonian Diplomatic Mission in Australia, Kersti Eesmaa, confirmed that the Estonian Embassy has moved to Sydney.
“The reason for the temporary move is the deterioration in air quality (…) and the desire to protect particularly vulnerable family members of the embassy staff,” said Eesmaa. In addition, according to the newspaper, the Hungarian embassy was closed due to “extremely harmful air pollution”.
Embassies of Ireland and Italy have been also temporarily closed. Similar plans were expressed by the Israeli diplomatic mission.
The fires in Australia have burned millions of hectares of land, 17 people have been killed and thousands of homes were destroyed in recent months. The University of Sydney estimates that more than 1 billion animals have been killed.
A large-scale evacuation due to fires is underway on the southeast coast of Australia.