Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Floods at one end, fires at the other

It's been said before - "Australia is a land of contrasts". This couldn't be truer than right at the present time.

We have floods in the north of Australia, stretching down into the desert basin around Birdsville. Many many people have been affected and one large town has been isolated for days and days. Only now are emergency vehicles with supplies being allowed in on the roads.

But far, far worse is the situation in the south, in Victoria, where massive bushfires have burned for days, wiping whole towns off the face of the map. Aerial views bring to mind what a war zone looks like that has been bombed. It is just total destruction and devastation.

The loss of homes, is nothing really, compared with the tragic loss of life. People who just couldn't race the fire and were consumed by it. Already the count is nearing 200 and that is expected to rise as embers cool and the authorities can go in and find bodies. Several people are listed as missing. It is so terribly heartbreaking. At least in a flood you don't generally lose everything you have, but in a fire, it is different story. People have lost not only all their material possessions, but they have lost loved ones as well. It is an unbelievable tragedy, the like of which Australia has not seen before. It is a national disaster...and still the fires burn...and that's just in one state. Many other bushfires burn in New South Wales as well.

Hopefully, the person or persons who deliberately lit some of these fires will be caught and brought to justice.

It is so, so sad.

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