NSW, Victoria fires claim dozens

Updatedeath toll expected to rise to 230

Residents of the southeastern Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria continue to battle major fires, as dozens have died, and homes and businesses have been lost.  RSOE Alertmap reports 35 deaths so far.  Kinglake and Marysville township in Victoria have reported major damage.  More from ABC News

Authorities are unable to get into Kinglake to confirm the level of destruction but yesterday ABC Local Radio listener Peter Mitchell said the entire town was on fire.

“The whole of Kinglake is ablaze,” he said. “I live a couple of kilometres out of town and when I heard explosions I went to the end of my road to see what was going on and by the time I got there I saw fires everywhere.”

‘Ceased to exist’

marysvilleaustraliaJane Cowan visited Marysville this morning and says the township has “virtually ceased to exist”.

“We were in the main street and it’s like a warzone, like a bomb has been dropped on the entire township,” she said.

“People there are in an absolute state of shock. Most people had already left, but the people, I’d say about 30 people that are still left and had spent the night sheltering on the Football Oval there, are just completely dazed.

“[They are] walking around the streets with rugs around their shoulders because it’s actually getting cold here now if you can believe it.

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