Sunday, February 08, 2009

Beyond belief...


... the weekend has been one of heartbreak here in Victoria - with our hottest day recorded since records began - and one of devastation caused by bushfires...

Words fail me as I write this - I have spent the day trying to get my head around such a truly awful tragedy - again as I write the current death toll is 65 76 people with a rise in in the number expected... There has been approximately 600 640 houses burnt to the ground and one historic town - Marysville - completely destroyed...

I think what gets to me is that some of these places are within an hour or two drive from here - a nice little drive on a Sunday - in fact we were due to go out to lunch today to a pub which as it turned out was not far from one of the fire fronts - of course we didn't go and I doubt very much whether it stayed open for very long...

I cannot begin to imagine what it was like for people who woke up yesterday morning probably starting out their weekend as they normally did knowing that the day was going to be an 'over the top scorcher' - they would have been mindful of a bushfire threat - most people who choose to live in these semi rural communities have fire plans... Ironically I was speaking to a customer on Wednesday who lives out St Andrews way about her bushfire plan - today I wondered if she was one of the ones who needed to put it into action... But by the end of yesterday some of those people had died and many, many more would be homeless...

The day was hot from the word go 30C by nine in the morning and steadily rising throughout the day peaking at 46.7 at about 4pm before a cool change in the early evening... The problem was that yesterday was a dry heat which was accompanied by a very strong wind... While the firefighters were expecting some outbreaks - things had been under control to this point -they possibly weren't expecting - or perhaps were praying that the firebugs wouldn't be out today... But their prayers weren't answered and someone(s) set about lighting fires which aided by the heat and wind quickly turned into an fast moving inferno - impossible to catch let alone contain...
Unfortunately there were not enough fire fighters or units to be everywhere and people in the more isolated areas had to fend for themselves - they had to decide whether to stay and try and save their homes or flee - unfortunately for some it was already too late no matter what plan they had in place...
As I hear the updates there is more disturbing news... One of Melbourne best known news readers is missing - feared dead - his wife's body has been found and one can only presume he has died too...
I can't write any more - it is too distressing... I sit here and wonder if there is something I could do to help - even in a small way...

2 comments:

Gina E. said...

Sharon, there are so many people around the world who are feeling for the victims of the fires, I believe that the universal energy of their love and sympathy will help overcome the negativity of our situation. Those of us who can't afford to give a lot of money or goods, can concentrate on sending vibes of sympathy out there, I am sure it does some good.

Frogdancer said...

Well, you did help!
Thanks for sending something in for Jarryd's book drive. He'll be gobsmacked at what will be coming in the mail. (And so will his postman!)