The town of Marysville in Victoria has been largely razed to the ground with a many as 100 out of 500 hundred residents dead
This chilling aerial video footage shows the result of the firestorm there.
I have been feeling kind of awkward today – We had Mercedes birthday party planned and a trip to the zoo and nice things to do. Yet while we have been enjoying ourselves here in Queensland I have been very conscious all day of the horrific bushfires in Victoria, the incredible death toll, and the devastation to property, livestock, houses, vehicles and just life in general. What makes it worse is the knowledge that some of these fires were lit deliberately. I hope the miscreants responsible have the guts to turn themselves in, and if not as is likely, that anybody who knows then does the right thing and frogmarches them to the local police station.
There are red cross appeals and other relief appeals that have been set up. My heart goes out to hose caught up in the tragedy. It is also great to see the spirit and help of the neighbours and locals who survived pitching in to help those less fortunate. About all we can do up here is send prayers, money and our condolences and sympathy to those who have lost family and lvoed ones in this time.
We can also lobby the government for better fire fighting equipment, more planes, better burn control zones, mandatory undergrowth and scrub clearance schemes, better advice systems and better resourcing for the control centres and emergency services. Nothing against the heroic work put in by these people - including the volunteers, but I think it is clear that there could have been more done by governments to reduce this. A royal commission has been set up. I hope that they find a requirement for more funding for this.
Some of the stories are amazing and scary at the same time.
Gary Hughes has written a graphic and scary story of how his family escaped with their lives – barely as their house and property burned down around them.
Jay Cherie and her family were one of the lucky ones escaping from Kinglake.
The following links and pictures are from the ABC News website here in Australia. Copyright applies.
After a saga and a half with the car yard (the car was initially delayed on the docks for 3 weeks), hail storms and insurance, we finally picked up the new car on Tuesday. Yesterday we had the graphics done, and today I am posting the pictures. Judith beat me - she posted some yesterday.
More pics in the vehicle gallery.