Masses of people attending relief centres on New Year's Eve
1 January 2020
It was an unpredictable day in Victoria yesterday with the number of people attending relief centres far exceeding our capacity to provide material aid. With people trapped on beaches and whole communities isolated, The Salvation Army has sent nearly 800 beds and bulk toiletries into the region.
The Salvos have been working collaboratively with all levels of Government, other agencies and our corporate partners to assist Victorian communities with urgent sourcing of food and water. This includes 800 x 10kg boxes of food delivered and stored at Bairnsdale (Foodbank) and 40,000 bottles of water delivered and stored at Bairnsdale (Woolworths), with 1.6 tonnes of water shipped to the isolated community of Malacoota by boat at 6am today.
We now face the challenge of distributing aid and have our state relief and recovery teams working on this. Financial assistance to those directly impacted by fires has commenced through the DHHS referral process.
"Our amazing teams are tired and impacted by the events, but remain cheerful in their service" said Topher Holland, The Salvation Army’s Emergency and Disaster Management Lead.
New South Wales
There are currently 16 evacuation centres across NSW with the number of people arriving growing hour by hour. On New Year’s Eve, there were:
- 680 people in Bateman's Bay evacuation centres
- 800-1,000 in Naroomba evacuation centres - with more on their way
- 200 in Bega evacuation centres and another 1,100 in tents and caravans on the oval
The Salvation Army would like to acknowledge the significant efforts of Woolworths who in the words of Topher Holland “…have been amazing across the board.”