14 dead in Victorian inferno

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by Heinz, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    Australia's worst bushfire disaster - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

    The death toll from horrific bushfires across Victoria this weekend has reached 76, surpassing the number of people who perished in the 1983 Ash Wednesday blazes.

    More than 700 homes have been lost in what is being described as 'Hell on Earth', and it is feared the death toll will pass 100.

    Twenty-six fires continue to burn across Victoria; 12 of those are out of control. Authorities suspect arsonists are responsible for some fires.

    The Kinglake Complex blaze continues to burn out of control and so far has burnt through more than 220,000 hectares. Communities around Glenburn, Taggerty and Rubicon are being urged to remain alert for any threats to their homes.

    "Tonight our our resolve as Victorians is being tested," Victorian Premier John Brumby said in an address to the state.

    "We know that tragically many lives have been lost ... and we have grave concerns for many more. We know that hundreds of Victorians have lost their houses. Out there it has been Hell on Earth.

    "It is one of the most tragic events in Victoria's history. I am personally devastated by the tragedy. The scale of the tragedy defies comprehension.

    "We all grieve with you. So many families, families like yours and mine, now have to rebuild. I can promise that we will not stop until you are safe and your lives and communities have been rebuilt."

    There is little information about the locations of the victims, but 29 are known to have died at Kinglake, north of Melbourne, and four each at St Andrews and Wandong, all north of Melbourne.

    Five people are dead in Callignee, three in Hazelwood and one in Jeeralang. More bodies have been found at Humevale, Bendigo, Upper Callignee, Long Gully, Strathewan and Arthurs Creek.

    Channel Nine is reporting that veteran newsreader Brian Naylor, who had a house at Kinglake, is unaccounted for and that his wife Moiree has died in the blaze.

    Seventy-five people died in Victoria and New South Wales during the February 1983 Ash Wednesday fires.


    'Shock and desperation'

    The Kinglake area, north of Melbourne, has been the hardest hit in terms of both lives lost and property damaged.

    Most of the residents whose homes burnt down are sheltering at the Whittlesea Emergency Relief Centre, and the ABC's Matt O'Sullivan has described the scene there this evening.

    "There are people arriving on buses with literally only the clothes they stand up in, that's all they have, many who have lost friends and neighbours and loved ones and just this enormous sense of shock and desperation," he said.

    "If you can imagine your street and all of your neighbours' houses and your house just gone and you're not sure if those neighbours are still there.

    "There are people coming here looking for emergency accommodation, they're trying to register with the Red Cross so they can let people know they're all right, they're just looking for some support, some counselling support, anything, just the support of each other."

    The reporter spoke to a schoolteacher from Kinglake who said that in the afternoon, Kinglake had not been mentioned on the radio.

    "So he went for a walk up the street - there was a bit of smoke around but it didn't really smell like a fire - and he asked the firies if things were going to be all right; they said yes," Mr O'Sullivan said.

    "By the time he got back down the street to his house, five minutes later, it was pitch black and five minutes later his house was in flames. He says if he was 10 minutes later he wouldn't be here today.

    "So he's lost his house, his school's gone up; obviously he's very worried about the kids that attend that school."


    No warning

    Jay Cherie from Kinglake Central said her family had no warning of what was to come.

    "When the power went out I madly started to try and pack some things and in doing so it was like night-time all of a sudden. My husband came running into the house and said, 'grab the kids, grab the cat, we've got to get out'," she said.

    "We got in the car and went to go down towards Yea and the flames were coming up over the paddocks towards our place and we could just only settle in the township; we knew straight away our home was gone.

    "A lot of people made that same decision; there were probably about 100 cars in the same area that we were in at the time and we had gas bottles exploding around us.

    "At one stage there my husband said to my children, 'get down on the floor', because we didn't know what was going to happen.

    "We had fire coming in on the right-hand side of us on a paddock and we had houses to the left of us on fire; no-one knew what was going to happen.

    "My little girl was saying to me, 'Mum am I going to see my friends again?', she also said to me, 'Mum am I going to live tomorrow?'."


    Bracing for 'bad news'

    Prime Minister Kevin Rudd visited bushfire ravaged regions today and warned the nation to brace itself for the likelihood of more deaths.

    "We've come through bad times before and we'll come through this one," he said

    "This Government will be behind these communities. I fear in the days ahead, though, the news is going to be bad and I believe the nation needs to prepare itself as the full facts become known."

    Mr Rudd announced a $10-million relief fund as well as a multi-million-dollar appeal.

    He said the Army and other Defence assets such as bulldozers and bedding would be available to help communities begin to rebuild in the aftermath of the destruction.


    Interstate support

    More than 4,000 local firefighters are battling blazes across Victoria, backed up by volunteers from New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT.

    Country Fire Authority (CFA) Deputy Chief Fire Officer Steve Warrington says the interstate reinforcements are much appreciated.

    "It's interesting in this part of the world, and I'm talking about Australia, that sense of mateship and camaraderie, we all stick together," he said.

    "Victoria's gone to NSW and it's great to have NSW down with us, and that goes for every state, Western Australia, Queensland, they've all rung up and offered support to us today.

    "From that point of view, it's quite heartwarming that we have this sense of culture and can-do in this country."

    About 250 of the extra firefighters are from NSW, with that state also sending 25 search and rescue experts, nine identification experts and five paramedics.

    The Northern Territory is sending a Disaster Victim Identification team, much like the one sent to Bali after the bombings.
     
  2. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Holy moly, I missed the news tonight, stay safe Alex and all you other Victorians.
     
  3. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    Prayin for y'all. Stay safe!
     
  4. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    :( You guys stay safe, do you hear!
     
  5. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    Its f**kin tragic guys. Just an updated article.

    The fire in the east is still about 20-30kms away from my place at the moment.
     
  6. Screaming Eagle

    Screaming Eagle Active Member

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    Stay safe Alex and Simon, and all the other Victorians here.
     
  7. 109ROAMING

    109ROAMING Active Member

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    Jesus! Keep well away from that mate!
     
  8. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    Simply beyond words.

    WIN News tonight. Sixty-five confirmed dead, seven hundred homes destroyed and these numbers are expected to rise.

    ..."whole families have perished."

    Smoke from these fires have travelled as far North as Albury/Wagga in NSW.
     
  9. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    This is just terrible. Whole towns have been wiped out and as Graeme said, the death toll is at 65 and climbing. The beautiful town of Marysville has been wiped off the map, I was there about two years ago, what an absoloute shame. The news has been hinting that some of these fires were deliberatly lit , god help the scumbag(s) if they're ever caught...
     
  10. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    King Lake is all gone.

    There are also people relighting the fires. I'm just shocked, so much devastion and so much loss.

    Burns hospital units are having heaps of in patients in Melbourne.


    And to top if off theres ****ing people going up to watch it all.


    My heart goes out to all those affected and to fireys you guys are gods.
     
  11. 109ROAMING

    109ROAMING Active Member

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    On the radio they were saying you could see the smoke from Christchurch in New Zealand!

    Truly bloody horrible
     
  12. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    Anyone know how to change the title in the threads btw?

    I want to update the article again but cant change the name.
     
  13. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    It's terrible. I haven't heard of death tolls from fires like that in a long time. Stay Safe all you Aussies. This fire must travel fast to do this much damage.

    I sure hope they catch the Freaks that did this.
     
  14. Watanbe

    Watanbe Member

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    Recently on the news they said they expect over 100 dead! This is a tragedy! Stay safe man, if it gets close bail!

    I hate arsonists they are the scum of the earth!
     
  15. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    Just an update 76 officially have died.


    Its just shocking, can't explain it any other way. Best mates relatives have lost their houses.

    12 fires are still out of control at this current time.
     
  16. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Saw it on the news......christ, it was not nice:(

    Stay safe Alex!
     
  17. Crunch

    Crunch Member

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    This is yesterdays bulletin. there was a good one on just then, but it's yet to pop up on the internet.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7klZ3_F6ekI

    100km/h winds (62mp/h), 45 degree Celsius (113 degree Fahrenheit) heat, it really couldn't be much worse. It's literally the whole state effected.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    Sure is Crunch.

    Eeery glow in the sky I can see from the fires.

    I've got friends fighting the fires. Best mate has 2 relatives who've lost their homes.

    So sad, so much devastation.
     
  19. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    Our thoughts are with you my friend, please keep yourself and your loved-ones safe.
     
  20. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Death toll is now at 84 with 750 homes destroyed. I hope your mates' family are alright Alex..
     
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