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Australian fires

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pat
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Post by pat » Mon February 9th, 2009, 9:30 am

The devistation is hard to believe. The stories we are hearing on the news are horrendous. People not having time to go. They flee, to perish in their car. Families seperated and not knowing if the other is alive.

My heart goes to those affected. And to think some may have been started deliberatly.
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diamondlil
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Post by diamondlil » Mon February 9th, 2009, 9:39 am

It has been such a surreal day here. It felt so strange to be going to work as normal when so many other peoples lives have been destroyed this weekend and it is so close.

A girl I work with has a sister who has lost everything. She had a photo of the house and seriously it was flattened. One of my staff has friends and family all through the affected area. So far so good for him, but there are plenty of others who are not so lucky.

The current death toll is 131 but it will still go up.

They are saying that there is a small town called Strathewen, which had a population of 200 people. They are saying that 15% of the towns population has been killed. Just tragic and extraordinary.

The fires still burn out of control in some areas and there are still homes, and lives, under threat.


The good thing - the response of the very generous Aussie public who are trying so hard to do what is needed. I work for a major charity who are well known for helping out in this kind of situation, and our phone system was jammed today because there were so many calls coming in.

Please spare a thought for our courageous and heroic volunteer fire fighters, many of whom have lost their homes and in some cases friends and family, and still continue to fight these fires.
Last edited by diamondlil on Mon February 9th, 2009, 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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juleswatson
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Post by juleswatson » Mon February 9th, 2009, 10:22 am

God, diamondlil, we are thinking of you. Not much else to say.
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Alaric
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Post by Alaric » Mon February 9th, 2009, 11:06 am

[quote=""cw gortner""]Australia looks like an inferno[/quote]

Yet in another part of the country, there has been severe flooding and a recent cyclone. :rolleyes:

Bushfires are something we all live with in Australia and expect every summer. It's like living in New Orleans and the hurricanes or the Mid-West and tornadoes, they're just going to happen and do every year. But this is just on a whole other level in devastation - rarely are lives lost, and if there are, it is only a handful. Canberra copped a massive bushfire a few years ago and only four or five people died from it, but, again, this is three times worse than that. Not even Ash Wednesday exceeded a hundred.

I guess we can say we are lucky that the areas hit are such sparsely populated areas and had this hit one of the bigger towns nearby like Bendigo then the death toll would be in the thousands. I can only imagine how bad it would have been if it ventured near Melbourne itself.

I'm amazed that South Australia has got away without any fire. Melbourne has had a respite from the heat until Saturday's insanity of 46.4° (which is a recorded history record), but we in Adelaide only had one day below 35° from January 26 to February 7. In that whole time there was only one known bushfire and that was completely isolated hundreds of kilometres from any town, so South Australia has been lucky where Victoria has not. :(

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Alaric
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Post by Alaric » Mon February 9th, 2009, 3:31 pm

The death toll is now up to 171.

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diamondlil
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Post by diamondlil » Mon February 9th, 2009, 7:32 pm

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There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

Edith Wharton

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cw gortner
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Post by cw gortner » Mon February 9th, 2009, 8:59 pm

I finally heard from my friend in Australia. She was raised in the Kingslake area but now lives in Montgomery, so while she and her family are safe, she's just devastated by the toll the fires have taken on friends still in the area. She told me she waited nearly 48 hours before discovering the fate of one friend, who fortunately made it out alive, though she has lost her home and two cats.

Truly horrible to think that some of these fires were deliberately set. In footage I saw yesterday of the fires raging, you can see kangaroos fleeing. I know people are dead and hurt, missing; homes are destroyed; livestock has perished; but the sight of those kangaroos racing for their lives with a wall of flame behind them - it was unbearable.

I'm going to donate through a special effort being put together by the Red Cross to help people affected by these fires, as well as through IFAW, an animal rights group that helps animals (including pets and livestock) displaced by the fires. Right now, being so far away, money is all I can give. But at least it's something.
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Telynor
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Post by Telynor » Tue February 10th, 2009, 7:02 am

What a terrible tragedy. My heart aches for those people.

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pat
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Post by pat » Tue February 10th, 2009, 9:34 am

Just heard on the news that someone has tried to ligh a fire in one of SA's national parks! The madness of it! Why do people do it?
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Post by Carine » Tue February 10th, 2009, 10:43 am

This is such a terrible tragedy !! My thoughts are with you guys out there !
Hope the fires end soon !

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