Saturday, 7 February 2009

Hottest day on record in Melbourne

The temperature reached 46.4C (115.5F) before dropping to a more tolerable 30C (86F) by early evening. With the heat came strong northerly winds. Authorities issued warnings that the conditions today would be similar to those on Ash Wednesday, 1983, when huge fires burned out of control across Victoria and South Australia, killing 75 people and destroying thousands of buildings. They were right.

Dozens of bushfires started today, many of which are still burning out of control. Some fires cover thousands of hectares. According to the people on the front lines, it's likely that there'll be a major loss of property. My friend Chuckie has posted photos of the fires near him at Kinglake.

ABC News has excellent coverage, including extraordinary pictures of the fires.

Map of major fires in Victoria (Department of Sustainability and Environment)

Smoke from bushfires picked up by Bureau of Meteorology radar

Meanwhile, at the other end of the continent, the town of Ingham (home to Tyto Tony … and about 13,000 other people) is experiencing its worst floods ever.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

hiya snail ... I am not asking you to ID Chuckie, but have you heard how he is?

So many personal friends in that area ... and our dearest friends kids are all in towns on the endangered lists... and no answers ... jj

Snail said...

I've heard from Chuckie and he's fine. House is okay too.

I think there'll be stiff drinks all round tonight.

Judith said...

Thanks.
I suspect, given our days in Melb and kids at Learning Co op in St Andrews, that we might have mutual friends.

I should go to bed but keep hoping to hear from friends.

Sherrie Y said...

Been thinking about you as news trickles across assorted ponds. Wishing you cooler temps and still winds.

Anonymous said...

dread-filled ... waiting ...


jj

Snail said...

The news doesn't get any better, although there are the occasional moments of joy. I was just listening to a live ABC broadcast from the fire-affected area, when they announced on-air that they'd just located someone alive and well (with their pet guinea pigs!) within the burnt area.

I can't imagine what it must be like for emergency service personnel and volunteers on what is now a recovery operation.

Lulu Stader said...

Very sad to hear the news of all the casualties already. I hope your friend Chuckie is OK still...

Snail said...

Chuckie and other half are okay. They've returned to their house, now with a garden full of kangaroos and birds. I can picture him now, trying to wade through a herd of eastern greys. :)

Judith said...

All known friends accounted for and safe ... couple of homes lost and some stock, but all the people of the households are safe (and recorded so ).

Delighted to hear of Chuck and Ned2 too.

jj

Dave Coulter said...

The news has been tragic. It's all over the TV & papers here :(

Snail said...

I posted this in a cmment on the thread about David Nelson's frogs. It is more appropriate here, I think:

We're all overwhelmed by the devastation. Every day brings horrific stories, many of them too painful to hear. I cannot imagine what it must have been like for those who were there; I cannot imagine what the survivors now have to carry with them for the rest of their lives.