Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Monday, February 9, 2009


134 confirmed deaths, with the toll expected to go over 200.

More than 700 houses destroyed.

More than 7000 people homeless.

Heaven knows how many injured in hospital.

You'd think I was talking about a border spat between Middle Eastern countries, wouldn't you? I'm not. This is happening right here in Australia, and the attacker is mother nature. Australia's worst recorded bushfire disaster.

Entire towns have been declared crime scenes, and if they catch the bastard arsonists they're going to try them with mass murder. Good.

I think I've made a mistake watching footage of it for the last two ours, I've had tears in my eyes the whole time. It's just unbelievable. This may be Australia's worst ever (recorded) natural or man-made disaster with the exception of those that occurred in wartime. It's worse than the previous two 'worst' fire events, worse than Cyclone Tracy, worse than the Bali bombings. If the death toll goes as high as some think it might, it could even be worse than the Japanese bombing of Darwin in WWII. It's so horrible.

I'm scared, too. Perth is entering a heatwave for the next week. Logically this heatwave is no more dangerous than any other, and we've weathered worse. We've had our own share of casualties too - nothing close to this in recent years, but there've been bad ones. This heatwave is just another dangerous Perth fire weather week. But what if there's copycats who have seen what's going on in Victoria and purposely light fires to try to emulate it? People who wouldn't otherwise? A good portion of the people I love most live in the Perth hills, one of the most dangerous fire areas in the Perth region. I WORK in a school in the hills which could easily be obliterated if a fire came through. I'm scared.

The school is having a fire drill tomorrow, and I'm just glad the principal warned the staff in advance that it was happening. I'm usually level-headed in a crisis but that might have been too much for me! I hope the kids get through it untraumatised. The fires are very much on their minds - lots of drawings of the Victorian bushfires in free time today - and they need to know how to act in a fire situation. And they have to believe it's a real threat or they won't know how to react when they're afraid and likely to panic. But I hate doing it to them. I hate the whole thing.


We've been watching the news of the fires in Australia with horror. What can I say, except that we'll keep you all in our thoughts and prayers.
It's Tassie, here.

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