Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Update VIII: 173 confirmed dead in Victorian bushfires.

Tim Blair's 65 confirmed dead.

Andrew Bolt has some good ideas for a revised stimulus package.

Update:
84 confirmed dead, among them Brian Naylor and his wife.

Update II:
From Andrew Bolt, many deaths were people who had left it too late to flee and were trapped in their cars either by MVAs or the road by fallen trees.

Not far away in Kinglake, the dawn revealed another horrific scene - a jumbled collection of burnt-out cars lining the roads out of the doomed township.

These cars were carrying the families who never made it out of the town. Some had crashed into each other in their panic to escape the inferno that had surrounded their town. Others had their only escape route blocked by fallen trees as the fiery apocalypse enveloped them.
Update III:
A frightening story of survival, How we cheated the flames of death. Gary Hughes for the Australian.

They call it "ember attack". Those words don't do it justice.

It is a fiery hailstorm from hell driving relentlessly at you. The wind and driving embers explore, like claws of a predator, every tiny gap in the house. Embers are blowing through the cracks around the closed doors and windows.

We frantically wipe at them with wet towels. We are fighting for all we own. We still have hope.

The house begins to fill with smoke. The smoke alarms start to scream. The smoke gets thicker.

I go outside to see if the fire front has passed. One of our two cars under a carport is burning. I rush inside to get keys for the second and reverse it out into an open area in front of the house to save it.

That simple act will save our lives. I rush back around the side of the house, where plastic plant pots are in flames. I turn on a garden hose. Nothing comes out.

I look back along its length and see where the flames have melted it. I try to pick up one of the carefully positioned plastic buckets of water I've left around the house. Its metal handle pulls away from the melted sides.
(link from Andrew Bolt's coverage)

Update IV:
Ninety-three confirmed dead (Blair, with links).

Update V:
One-hundred and eight (Blair, with links to other information).

Update VI:
128 (Andrew Bolt) and news.com.au

Update VII:
131 news.com.au

Update VIII:
173 fatalities

For all the miraculous, heroic escape stories you hear spare a thought for those stories we will never hear.

5 comments:

RebeccaH said...

Dunno where you live, Kae, but I hope it's not anywhere near the fires. It's just tragic.

Rebellion said...

Bloody awful all round Kae. My old man has family down in the affected area and all are safe but they are still trying to get in contact with one of them. Bloody lucky we are up here in Qld. Fire below, floods above. Bloody hell. :-)

Rip said...

Kae, I just saw the pictures over at Tim's. I wish there was something more productive I could do than sit here and cry like a baby. My heart goes out to everyone.

kae said...

Thanks for your kind words. I am safe in South East Queensland. My family is up here and in Sydney.

One of my father's best mate's sons is in Victoria, Beechworth, near the fires, with his family I think. I hope they are OK.

I'm writing something on the fires tonight, but won't finish until tomorrow, maybe. It's very hot here tonight and humid, fortunately there are no fires around here at all. Unless someone has been through a fire like those, knows someone who has, they won't know the challenges faced in the fire. The article by the journalist who survived with his family is worth reading. He was trained as a Country Fire Authority volunteer (CFA), and was prepared and knew what to do to save his home - and still he couldn't save his home, and barely escaped with his life.

I've been out watching for the RAAF Fighter Jets flying over my place, but they're a bit high at the moment.

kc said...

Friend Garry is married to a woman from Australia - says her family's safe, which is good.

Have been near fires...but nothing like yours. Take care, ALL of you!