Malaysia has offered to assist Australia in combating its deadly bush fire crisis that has escalated in the southeastern part of the country
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the help includes deploying the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) and Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART) assets and personnel to help put out the devastating bush fires and support rescue operations.
"I am deeply saddened to learn about the massive bush fires that have caused the loss of lives and extensive damage in Australia," she wrote on her official Facebook account yesterday, 5 January.
"On behalf of the Malaysian Government, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the victims, their families, and all those affected."
The offer comes a day after the Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia praised Malaysians for their generosity and sympathy towards the crisis that has engulfed his country
"Malaysians have big hearts," tweeted the commissioner, Andrew Goledzinowski.
"Just today, one minister said Australia is like a second home to many Malaysians. Another minister said that they have spoken to the Department of Federal Territory Islamic Affairs (JAWI) and asked the mosques to do special prayers. While a businessman had asked how he could help."
"When you need a friend… turn to a Malaysian," he concluded.
The bush fires that have been ravaging Australia since September have killed a total of 24 people and destroyed over 2,000 homes
According to BBC, the fires have been made worse by severe draught and strong winds, creating difficult conditions for the thousands of firefighters deployed in the field.
The Star reported that the flames have burnt over five million hectares of land across three Australian states, namely New South Wales, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory, of which two have declared a state of emergency.
Concerning images of the extent of the fires have been making rounds on the Internet
"The images coming out of Australia are apocalyptic," said Twitter user @RohanBeg, commenting on the eerie orange glow that has enveloped the nation, caused by the smoke from the raging bush fires.
Meanwhile, a visual designer on Instagram compiled satellite data to create a worrying 3D visualisation of all the areas affected by bush fires in the last month.
Here's how you can help the bush fire crisis
While there are many ways you can help, the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) has said that "the best way is to donate money":
- You can donate to the Australian Red Cross' fire recovery and relief fund, or
- You can also donate directly to the NSW RSF, the Country Fire Service Foundation in South Australia, and the County Fire Authority in Victoria.