As many of you would know we have had very heavy weather down here in Australia of late.
There has been monsoonal rain and flooding in the far north. In places like Ingham where 300mm of rain fell on one night and 200mm of it fell in just one hour. Those living in these towns have felt the impact of floods with one report also
"Crocodiles, snakes, spiders and other vermin are everywhere in the water, locals said, while there also have been reports of large spills of sewage and chemicals from some farms.
The flood crisis is also continuing in the northwest and Channel Country, where thousands of square kilometres are under water.
Food and fodder drops continued to isolated communities yesterday. They are expected to be cut off for at least another month."
I have a google map here for anyone who wishes to view it
Ingham is in North Queensland.
In the Southern states of Victoria and parts of NSW and also to a lesser extent this time in South Australia, fires caused havoc and destruction on a scale in Victoria that is being hailed as an Australian Disaster and Catastrophe which up until now is unrivaled.
Let me explain.
In the Southern States we have a dry hot Summer
and our seasons follow ..
- Summer: December to February
- Autumn: March to May
- Winter: June to August
- Spring: September to November
In our northern states and in the top regions of Australia we have a different climate.
In the north there are tropical regions with high temperatures and high humidity and distinct wet and dry seasons. In the centre of the country are dry, desert regions with high daytime temperatures and low amounts of rain. In the south are the temperate regions with moderate rainfall and temperatures ranging from hot to cold.
The temperature in Australia changes with the seasons, but in general it ranges between highs of 50 degrees Celsius to lows of sub-zero temperatures. The lowest temperatures reached in Australia, however, are not comparable to the extreme lows experienced in other continents. This is partly because Australia lacks very high mountains and enjoys the presence of warming oceans around its coastal regions.
The information above is from Australian Weather
This Summer for us was for the period leading up to the fires in Victoria was to become Heatwave Conditions. We had the conditions here too and fortunately we were spared any huge fires in South Australia. The weather here and in Victoria was ripe for fires as the oven like temperature out side was in the 40s and the bush and undergrowth was tinder dry from drought. Rain has not been enough for our states this season and coupled with extreme heat and an added strong wind the seriousness of the situation erupted throughout Victoria with many fires breaking out and it is with dismay I might add that some of these fires were started in malice by those arsonists whom we call Fire Bugs.
Saturday February the 7th was to become the day all of Australia will never forget as whole communities were razed by a force no one could ever have envisioned. Fires that blacked out the sky and roared through like a highway full of trucks. Flames in some cases like ten story buildings leaving people helpless and in a totally hopeless situation. In Victoria there is a policy that you may leave or stay and defend you property and it is your choice in fire situations. Alarmingly many people were caught unawares and many perished in their cars as they tried to escape too late.
Nothing prepares us for the horrifying scenes that have been viewed across the country of the aftermath and destruction. The tragedy was also caught on phones and video cameras by some who were caught up in the thick of this hellish experience.
Parrots being hand fed at Marysville.
Marysville a charming Victorian Town full of history and charm was razed with lives lost. Last October a friend was staying there for a birthday celebration and had sent out invites to come and stay in this picturesque village. Due to other commitments it was not possible to go although I had stayed in Healseville about 33klms away, a few years earlier and knew how charming and beautiful this whole area was.
Mountainous and bushy with pretty small towns dotted around. So many now just gone.
Photo taken by my friend of parrots at the resort in Marysville Victoria.
Devastation and desperation is all that is left now as people try to come to grips with losses of loved ones, friends,acquaintances, their pets and animals,their businesses their way of life and their personal belongings now are all gone.
We have much to learn from this disaster and there are many small communities in high fire danger areas that might need to rethink staying in with their homes and properties in such dreadful conditions as was experienced this last weekend.
The emergency services personal and those who overcame there own traumas to help others will be our new heroes.
There will be many stories of the bravery and commitment to saving others to come through.
We are a nation in mourning and in these situations we all want to help in any way that we can. Aussies are pretty resilient people but it will take time for our Victorian neighbours to come to grips with this devastation and upheaval.
Once the towns are opened up again and the crime scene tapes are removed I am sure that the instinct to rebuild albeit with regard to their surroundings and habitat will be a therapy for those who are willing and able. For others the pain will be too much to bare and new beginnings elsewhere will be their choices.
The weekend brings more heat here and as of now we have had no rain to speak about. Perhaps mother nature will share a bit of the extra rain in our monsoonal far north with us before too long but that is more of a wish that a reality.
Thank you to all who have inquired about us down-under and the thoughts and prayers from you all have been heard and welcomed.
Hugs from Milli.
Feb 10 09