State of emergency declared in fire-hit Australia


A state of emergency has been declared across Australia's east coast, with authorities urging residents in highrisk areas to evacuate immediately.

At least three people have been killed and more than 150 houses destroyed over the last three days.

Officials urged residents to "evacuate before conditions worsened" as adverse heat and wind conditions are expected to peak at unprecedented levels on Tuesday.

Sydney has been designated at "catastrophic fire danger" for Tuesday, when temperatures as high as 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) are forecast to combine with powerful winds for potentially deadly conditions. 

The state of emergency will remain in place for seven days.

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