Canberra: Australia will face possible compounding and cascading natural disasters throughout this upcoming summer season, the nation’s top emergency management authority warned on Monday.
Brendan Moon, Australia’s Coordinator-General for National Emergency Management, told reporters here that Australians should plan for the impacts of a range of disasters in the upcoming summer, reports Xinhua news agency.
“We are going to experience a warmer, drier spring and summer, but we also should prepare for the possibility of cyclones, floods, bushfires and also heatwaves,” he said.
Moon was speaking ahead of the first National Disaster Preparedness Summit, which began in Canberra on Monday.
More than 250 representatives from federal, state and territory governments as well as experts from emergency services and industry were invited to the two-day summit to ensure a cohesive response to summer natural disasters.
Experts have previously warned that Australia is facing its worst bushfire season since the devastating 2019-20 Black Summer blazes, which burned more than 240,000 square km of land.
Last weekend, more than 20 participants of the Sydney Marathon were hospitalised during a heat wave.
Ski resorts, including Perisher, the country’s largest, have closed early amid a lack of snow after the country’s warmest winter since records began in 1910.
Also last week, dozens of bushfires broke out in the country, with more than 60 burning in the densely-populated state of New South Wales.
In its latest seasonal outlook published in August, the Australasian Fire Authorities Council put large parts of eastern and central Australia on high alert for bushfires due to forecast hot, dry weather and high fuel loads.
Despite the warning, Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt said in a statement on Monday that he has confidence in the government’s response plans.
“We know that due to climate change, disasters will become increasingly frequent and intense, which is why we have taken significant steps to build our resilience and response capabilities,” he said.
“I’m confident that as a country we’re well-prepared for the conditions forecast, but we aren’t complacent, and want to make sure we’re doing everything within our power to get ready.”