Sunday, February 08, 2009

Bushfires in Victoria. At least 65 dead, 600 houses destroyed....

Spare a thought for the residents of Australia's southern state of Victoria. Today will go down in our history for the wrong reasons - it'll probably get called 'Black Sunday' or suchlike.

Melbourne and parts of Victoria have had temperatures in the high 40's (C) - that's ~120F - for most of the last week. That's perfect bushfire weather. Today the worst fears happened.

Tonight, there are many who have lost loved ones in the worst way possible - burnt to death. There are many more people in burns units, and there are thousands either evacuated, or actually homeless as their houses were burnt. Then there's the other property lost, stock losses, crops, and native flora and fauna. A bad, bad day.

For some footage, have a look here, here, and here.

(Some helo waterbombing footage here).

[Update, Tues Feb 10th]

This will update you a little;

If any good has come out of this it is the great community spirit. Appeals have been organised by the Salvos, Red Cross, and many others. There have been so many donations of clothing, food etc that we've been asked to hold off for a while. At work yesterday, we held a short meeting, voted on it, and donated a large part of our social club funds to the appeal. (You can bet many other workplaces did something similar). Businesses large and small are donating. You can go into virtually any bank and donate. That part makes me proud of this society.
More here. And here.

[Update Sat Feb 14th]

A picture gallery here (Melbourne's 'Herald-Sun' site) helps give some context.

A man has been arrested, charged with (among other things) 'arson causing death) and moved to Melbourne 'for his own protection'.

The weather in that area, currently mild, is expected to get hotter over the coming week. So it may not be over yet.

[Update Sunday Feb 15th]

Click here. An ABC one-hour special looking at the people aspect of this tragedy. It looks at the details of how people get through the present, and what's needed to move forward to the future.
Look at the comments section. You will see some small portion of the debate that is beginning on environmental vs human safety concerns.

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2 Comments:

Blogger pumuckl said...

this is tragic, and as it seems some fires were actually planted, willingly and destructively created!! this must be horrible to live through, not even to mention die in it. my thoughts are with Australia :-(

Monday, February 09, 2009 1:45:00 am  
Blogger Peter (Worldman): said...

This is really a tragedy. What pleases me is that, for once, TV reporting here is not on the move of making sensational reporting, but rather a matter of fact, simply story telling of this horror.

Friday, February 13, 2009 5:17:00 pm  

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