Millennium Post

Bushfire crisis: Aus PM may cancel India visit from Jan 13

Melbourne: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday indicated that he is likely to cancel his first official visit to India scheduled from January 13 amidst the catastrophic bushfire crisis in his country.

Massive fires ripped through swathes of the Australia's south-east on New Year's Eve, killing at least 20 people and stranding holidaymakers as seaside towns were ringed by flames. Australian authorities on Thursday declared a state of emergency and forced evacuation of residents, tourists and closure of roads in the bushfire zones in the states of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria ahead of Saturday's forecast of "horrible" fire conditions due to the intensified heat wave.

Morrison was due to visit India on January 13-16 following an invitation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

During a press conference in Bairnsdale in Victoria, the prime minister said "The National Security Committee is going to hook up actually in the morning on this. I'm inclined not to proceed with that visit (to India)."

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