Never did I realize that when I wrote the last article (114), the bush fire scenario would get so bad. As I walked the streets on Saturday, I could sense that something was wrong. The heat was too strong, the wind was heavy, the entire sky was muddy. And in the distance I saw some smoke but I never connected it to a bushfire – one that would end up being Australia’s worst. My friend, whose property was in the line of fire, brought to my attention that the fire was barely 2kms from the city centre, where I was in the morning. But then the wind had changed its direction and we ended up not being affected.
Phone calls and emails flow in from friends and relatives everywhere. In a small community like where I live in, everyone knows someone who has been affected. Radio, TV, newspaper, websites and word of mouth have only one thing to report as priority – the Victorian bush fires and the Queensland flood. In some way, it has brought the entire community, in fact the whole country together. Some are looking up to the government to do the needful. Others have left it in the hands of God. And many others have decided to work together and get out of this situation quickly or eventually.
As I write this article, I understand that the weekend fire toll has now risen to 134 with over 700 homes destroyed. My thoughts and prayers are with those affected and the brave fire fighting authorities who have a very tough job at hand. You can see some visuals of the damage at http://www.abc.net.au/news/photos/2009/02/06/2484555.htm