Bushfires force Estonia's Australian embassy to move to Sydney ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Australian Parliament Building in Canberra. The ashes from the fires have turned the sky yellow.
Australian Parliament Building in Canberra. The ashes from the fires have turned the sky yellow. Source: Reuters/Scanpix

Estonia's Australian embassy will temporarily relocate to Sydney on Monday because of a deterioration in air quality due to the rapid spread of bushfires in southern Australia.

The embassy is usually based in the country's capital Canberra in the state of New South Wales, which is one of the regions worst affected by bushfires.

Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said: "Estonia stands with the state and people of Australia suffering from extensive bushfires. The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will allocate €50,000 to the Australian Red Cross to support them in aiding disaster victims."

The ministry has also contacted Australian authorities to offer potential additional assistance and express support.

The states of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania are the regions worst affected by bushfires, and people living in threatened areas have been advised to evacuate.

Reinsalu said: "We are deeply saddened by the loss of human life, the destruction of nature and threatened animal species. Our thoughts are with the people of Australia during this difficult time and we urge the international community to offer every support to Australia."

The foreign ministry advises people currently in Australia to follow the instructions of local authorities. Updated information about the fires is available here, and through the Fires Near Me app that allows you to monitor the situation. Local media are also publishing updates.

Sydney and Canberra are also affected by smoke due to strong winds. In case of dense smoke, people are advised to stay indoors, follow authorities' instructions, and stay up-to-date through the local media.

For information and assistance, please call +61 (0) 409 798 474 (during office hours) or + (372) 53 01 99 99 (24h)

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Editor: Helen Wright

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