Dozens of buildings feared lost in Australia's Tathra

The fast-moving fire engulfed the New South Wales (NSW) coastal town of Tathra late on Sunday local time.

Fire and Rescue NSW then dispatched a pumper engine crew but by then, the fire had rapidly increased and was fast approaching Tathra, according to the publication.

The Rural Fire Service tweeted on Monday, March 19, that easing conditions overnight had slowed the spread of the bushfire. Sixty-nine homes were destroyed in the picturesque seaside village of Tathra on the south coast of New South Wales when a fire tore through the area on Sunday. The evacuation center is at Bega Showground.

Some 40,000 hectares (100,000 acres) were also scorched in southwestern regions of neighbouring Victoria as dozens of blazes swept through over the weekend, wiping out beef and dairy cattle.

Tathra is still cut off to all but emergency services, who are working their way around power poles and trees that continue to fall around them.

But he said the town would "stick together and we'll rebuild and look after one another as we always have".

"We understand your anguish and we understand your frustration - we're asking you to work with us so we can send you back into a safe Tathra", Mr Reeves told the evacuees.

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Numerous destroyed homes were in the small coastal community of Tathra, population 1,622.

Local MP Mike Kelly, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and Minister for Law Enforcement Angus Taylor moved on Monday to declare residents would be eligible for the national disaster relief scheme, after the scale of the damage became apparent.

Bega Valley mayor Kristy McBain said on Monday there was a "level of helplessness as residents wait for information on what the real impact (of the fire) will be".

The RFS has confirmed a woman, from west of Tathra, was hospitalised with burns on Sunday afternoon.

Ms Boulter, who has been stranded in Bega for 24 hours, said the only way to check if her house was still standing was to continually ring her phone at home.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian insists authorities did all they could to alert residents. At the height of the fire, at least 150 firefighters were involved in the effort.

She said that most people had left with only a few belongings.


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