Australia is currently experiencing ‘natural disasters’ the top half of Queensland is having the worst flooding in 20 years and the bottom of Australia in Victoria, is experiencing the worst fire-storms since 1983.
At the beginning of the week the news reports focused on the devastating floods that Queensland were experiencing. Homes inundated with water, roads cut, lives lost in flood waters.
Thursday they reported fires in Victoria, nothing major at that stage they had the ‘fire front’ under control. I woke up this morning to be confronted by images on the news of up to 40 people being killed in a fire inferno that has been sparked on by 90+km winds fuelling the fire over night.
For those who aren’t familiar with Australia and the climate conditions I’ll give you a digest version.
Australia – Overall generally warm.
Queensland – Hot and sunny, otherwise known as the ‘sunshine’ state
Victoria. – Generally ‘cool’ tempered climate - quite cold in winter – is known as the 4 seasons in one day state as it can be – hot, cold, wet, and sunny at various parts of the state at any given time on the one day.
However the fire that is currently ripping through the state of Victoria is not something that I’ve not seen since fire ripped through Canberra (ACT) in 2003.
They are calling both the floods and the fire a ‘natural disaster’ I’ll wear the rain as a natural disaster – you can’t make it rain. But you can make a fire start, and the news report that is currently being played in the background as I type this entry, has two people arrested and charged in relation to the fires in Victoria deliberately lit and the death toll now at 63.
Australia had some pretty harsh penalties re arson etc. With the minimum sentence for deliberately lighting a fire is 15 years jail, up to 25 years should a life be lost due to the arson. However I think the only just punishment for these people who love to start fires so much, is to be tied up to a large ‘pile’ of wood and set alight.
With ideas like that it’s no wonder I failed the psych test for the police force!
To those reading this with loved ones in either the Fire or the flood affected areas. I hope they are all safe and well. Houses can be re built, cars and possessions can be replaced. Life on the other hand, we only get one go at that.
That’s all I’ve got.
*Update* When I wrote this blog the death toll from these fires stood at 63 its now sitting at a reported 191 as of the 17th of Feb 2009