Throughout the day, landing vessels took people to two ships – M V Sycamore and the much larger HMAS Choules. Some 4,000 residents and tourists fled to the beach on Monday night, when racing bush fires encircled the town.
The Navy said, the evacuees will be taken to Western Port, around 16 hours’ voyage down the coast. With roads cut off, the military evacuated around 60 people by helicopter yesterday. The air has so far been too smoky for further air evacuations.
In other parts of Victoria, people were urged to evacuate by road in convoy. There were also large queues at Railway Stations. Emergency Management Commissioner for Victoria Andrew Crisp warned today that as per weather forecast, dry thunderstorms are coming across the state and there is the potential of lightning strikes.
Thousands of people are also fleeing parts of neighbouring New South Wales, where a week-long state of emergency is in force. Since September fires have killed at least 20 people in the two states and dozens remain missing. The fires have so far destroyed more than 1,300 homes.