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Many still unaccounted for in Australia fires: Police

Published on Jan 7, 2013 10:04 AM

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian police said many people remained unaccounted for on Monday but no deaths had yet been recorded in fire-ravaged Tasmania state, as the rest of the nation braced for a dangerous heatwave.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard toured the shaken southern island, where more than 100 homes were razed in catastrophic heat and wind conditions by fast-moving blazes that continued to burn across the state.

Tasmanian police said they had searched 245 properties in the worst-hit areas by Monday morning including 90 badly damaged or destroyed buildings.

"The preliminary screening search has discovered no deceased people at this stage," police said.

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