AustraliaSource: nasa.gov

What you need to know

  • Apple has launched a donation campaign to help with relief for the bushfires in Australia.
  • US and Australia users can donate to the Red Cross directly through iTunes.
  • You can donate between $5 and $200, all of which goes to relief.

Apple has launched a donation campaign to help people affected by the Australian bushfires raging in the country.

A link on Apple's websites will take users in the US and Australia to iTunes, which will allow them to make donations to the Red Cross in their respective countries directly through iTunes.

The donation pages states that 100% of proceeds will go directly to the charities, and users can choose between $5, $10, $25, $50, $100 and $200. US donations will go to the American Red Cross, and Australian donations will go to the Australian Red Cross respectively.

The image above is taken from NASA's website and shows some of the extent of the fires in south-eastern Australia. It's website states:

The state of New South Wales (NSW) in south-eastern Australia is continuing to experience devastating bushfires due to the dry tinder-like atmosphere in the territory: high winds, dry lightning and continuing heat. Approximately 69 fires are still raging in NSW according to its Facebook page and more than 70 are burning to the south in Queensland. And the summer has just begun in the region. NASA's Terra satellite captured this image of the fires and the smoke pouring off the edge of Australia and into the southern Pacific Ocean on Nov. 13, 2019. Close to 1.1 million hectares (2.7 million acres) have burned since September.

In addition to the fires, which burned more than 200 structures in a new wave of fires that broke out Tuesday, they also brought another hazard – smoke. The fires are producing a fairly substantial amount of smoke. The smoke trail is so large it now spans the southern Pacific Ocean and has crossed the tip of South America into the Atlantic Ocean.  A short animation from 8 Nov to 13 Nov of the NOAA- NASA Suomi NPP satellite's OMPS instrument aerosol index shows the movement of the smoke and the resulting aerosols across the ocean. Note the two dates on each image, the left one refers to data west of the International Date Line, the right one refers to the east of it.

The fires have been stoked by record-breaking temperatures and a severe drought in the country. 24 people have been killed, including three volunteer firefighters, and more than 6.3 million hectares of bush, forest and parks have been burned.

To donate, simply head to Apple.com in either the US or Australia, and click the "Donate to Australian Bushfire Relief" link at the top of the page.

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