Tathra Residents Unable To Enter Town After Asbestos Fears
Many residents of Tathra are still waiting to find out if their homes have been destroyed in the catastrophic bushfire that engulfed the seaside town on New South Wales south coast over the weekend.
It is currently estimated that residents will remains blocked from the town until Wednesday afternoon at the earliest after concerns that toxic asbestos dust may have settled on the town.
The area will continue to be tested for Asbestos today but it will take at least 24 hours for the results to be confirmed.
Recovery coordinator Euan Ferguson has said that emergency services will not allow residents to enter the town unless it has been ruled safe to do so.
“It’s well known that asbestos dust, which arises after asbestos is burned, is very mobile and can get into the atmosphere,” said Mr Ferguson. “It can get into the lungs and cause fatal diseases.”
“The asbestos concern is a very real concern,” he continued. “It’s one of a number of issues the recovery agencies will be looking at over the next few days, weeks and months.”
While community members will not be allowed to return to their homes, mini buses will escort people through the town from 10:00am in order to let them survey the damage at their properties.
It has been reported that at least 69 homes have been completely destroyed in the blaze with a further 39 homes have been damaged.