The News From Australia. Can You Help?
Posted on February 8, 2009 by archiearchive FCD
The news from the East coast of Australia gets worse and worse.
For a week there have been floods in Northern Queensland with the town of Ingham totally submerged. Yesterday the waters had subsided enough to allow a clean-up to begin and last night there were another 109mm of rain in their catchment area. The town is submerged again.
Further south, in New South Wales there are nearly 60 fires burning and huge areas of forest and farmland have been burnt out.
Yet all this pales into insignificance to the Victorian tragedy.
As I write this, the death toll from the fire storms of yesterday (Saturday) has reached 65 with still more people missing. Nearly 700 homes have been destroyed. Stock and crops have been destroyed. Entire towns have been wiped out.
The heat from what was the very hottest day ever recorded in Melbourne was compounded by strong northerly winds which pushed the fires which had been burning for several days south towards Melbourne. A Southerly change, cooler but with extreme winds blew the fire around into new directions. Flying embers started new fires five and six kilometres from the original fronts. More than a hundred thousand hectares (for those still using the old measurements, that is around half a million acres) have been burnt out. People, whole townships, were often caught completely by surprise.
On a personal level, I have been amazed by the individual responses to these disasters. I had a look at the ABC’s Blog and cried at the spontaneous generosity shown by people.
The Red Cross and the Salvation Army have both set up appeals for donations for emergency funds to help the victims. The Red Cross has not yet updated its web-site so I will update the link to them as soon as I can. In the meantime, if you are in Australia, phone donations to the Red Cross can be made on 1800 811 700.
Although we are in difficult financial times, there are people affected by this disaster who have lost everything. Help out if you can. Please.
This post will remain on top of the archive and be updated for about a week. Fellow bloggers, feel free to repost this as widely as possible.