In Australia we have just gone through a period of extremely high temperatures, over C40 degrees for days on end. Bush fires have raged in many parts of the country. In the last couple of days in the southern state of Victoria, over 750 homes have been burnt to the ground, over 100 people have perished in the fires with the count rising hourly. Sadly some of these fires have been lit by arsonists. Australia will rally to those in need as it always does. Please keep those poor people in your thoughts and prayers.
This is Australia worst natural disaster.The death toll has risen to 130 and it could reach 200 with many people unaccounted for. Many of the fires are still out of control. Thousands of people have escaped with only the clothes they were wearing. They have lost everything. Some small towns have been completely destroyed. If you are able to make a donation you can do so through Australian Red Cross at www.redcross.org.au.
Your thoughts and actions are very much appreciated.
saw the terrible news on tv and got a bit worried. I have a very good friend, Tod Clarke, he's living in a place called 'Blue mountains' I believe. We used to have offices next to each other at the university when he was a guest teacher here. Just sent him an email to see all is well. I'm not too good as regards australian geography, so I really don't know if he lives close to or far away from the fires.
It's terrible this, and it seems to pop up more often nowadays, or is it just the reporting in the news that's more active now than it used to be?
Well, hope you're doing fine over there, and keep fingers crossed.
Best of luck
Skei (the Australian connection one)
The Blue Mountains are in New South Wales, the most populous state, on the east coast. We have had a number of fires in this state but not as bad as in Victoria which is the southern part of the mainland. There was one fire that I know of in the Blue Mountains and they have charged a 15 year old boy with lighting it.
Australia has been through a long period of drought and we had record temperatures for a number of days. The bushland had dried out and once a fire started it was virtually impossible to stop. The bushland just exploded. I don't know if these things are happening more often or are being reported more often. At the latest some 800 houses have been lost and over 170 lives. It's so hard to take it all in. Temperatures have dropped considerably which helps but the wind is still a problem. They are expecting the temperatures to rise again this coming weekend so we are all praying that the fires will be contained before then.
I think your friend would be ok if he is still in the Blue Mountains. Why they are called the Blue Mountains is because of the blue haze you see when you look at the mountains from a distance. This is caused by the evaporation of the eucalyptus oil from the gum trees which are the most common trees here.
While I have a large area of bushland right behind my house, we have been lucky in the past and at present. Thanks for your concerns.
I just got email from Tod, he's alright!
I sure hope thing will get better now, so the fires won't start again, must be hell to sleep and not knowing what happens when you're not awake. Nervous.
Skei (the snow and cold one)
Glad your friend is ok. Unfortunately the fires are still raging. They are working around the clock to try to contain them but the weather is not helping.
I am deeply sorry, too, to here about this catastrophe. For the lost people and their relatives, for people who lost their material existence and for all the people living there in constant alarm and terror, to lose everything. I also saw this on T.V. and it looked terrible. As far as I can see, there are still fires burning, though the situation seems to be better than a few days before. Hope everything is still well with your house and the bushland
Thank you for your good wishes. Yes the fires are still burning but things have improved. Some will have to burn themselves out while containment lines have been cut through others. The death toll is about 209. It's very sad for all involved and all Australians both here and overseas. I think over 5000 have lost homes. It will be a massive rebuilding task to get these people re-settled.
Things are ok at my place. I think we will get through this summer without a fire. I have lived here 17 years and each summer we get a bit nervous but so far we have not had a fire. The local authorities have cleared a track behind our fences to give us a bit of a break which should work in all but the worst fires.
The Australian people are pretty resilient and we are getting on with dealing with the fires and aftermath. Again thanks for your good wishes. It's nice that other people care about our misfortunes.
Thanks for your concerns and good wishes. We are about 1000km away from this part of Australia, so we are safe. While I live right next to a large tract of bushland we have had no problems. Where the fires are, in the southern state of Victoria, they still rage. Today is a bad day. Temperatures are expected to be in the high C30s, humidity of about 6% and strong winds - a recipe for disaster. The original fires were 3 weeks ago and they came through so quickly that many people were caught out. This time I think people are better prepared to flee early and not leave it until it's too late. Very sadly, quite apart from the loss of homes, animals etc. we have lost 210 people with 30 still unaccounted for.
Your thoughts and prayers are much appreciated.
Hope they get the fire out in between the next days.
It's a huge task because of the amount of rugged bushland. They were expecting more trouble over last weekend but luckily it was not so bad. Now the forecast is for high winds. The temperature has dropped a bit but they are on full alert for the next few days. Thanks for your good wishes.