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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bushfires in Bendigo, part 2: the very tragic aftermath and a national tragedy

Tonight the sky is glowing an eerie orange. It's only the sunset, but it's a reminder of the tragedy that unfolded yesterday afternoon and continued throughout the night. And sadly for many people it's not over. I've just watched the evening news on television and am stunned at the devastation caused from the fires across Victoria (all 400 of them!), and in the city of Bendigo and neighbourhood of Eaglehawk where we're currently staying at my aunt and uncle's. You can read my post of last night on how it all unfolded for us here yesterday (I'm sorry, but I've been too focused on the events to take photos) or dive straight into the sobering news reports:
* Worst day for 26 years takes its toll and Worse than Ash Wednesday - good overviews of the destruction the state of Victoria has experienced over the last two days, although already those figures have been surpassed - the latest is 65 deaths, and more than 100 homes destroyed. The blazes also destroyed schools.
* A great mix of media - text, audio and video - on the ABC website and The Age site, where you can listen to
an extraordinary bushfire rescue live on air and experience what it's like fighting a fire from helmet-cam.
Up to 50 homes lost in Bendigo - the situation in the town we're staying with my family.
Bendigo battles wall of flames - this article reports that our neighbourhood of Eaglehawk was evacuated... (oh...)
Bendigo grandmother had God on her side - heartening - and also heartwrenching - stories.
Aftermath of Bendigo Fires - a local blogger posts some pics of the smokes she saw from her home and the burnt houses.

UPDATE 9/2/08: Australian wildfire death toll at 108 - some tragic stories here.


Fly Brother said...'s hoping relief comes soon.

Kim Wildman said...

Glad to hear you are OK. I've been watching it on the news all morning. It's just horrendous - I can't believe how devastating the fires have been.

Dr. J said...

Glad to hear you're OK. It's been awful watching the disaster unfold. Hope you stay safe.

Lara Dunston said...

Hi Fly Brother - the fires have been contained in the area where we're living, thank god, but some other towns are still under threat - whole towns are being evacuated - just tragic.

Hello Kim - thanks. It is such a tragedy, isn't it? I'm so saddened by the stories I'm hearing. But also touched by the community spirit and the support people are giving eachother.

Hi Dr J - yep, we're fine. My family's neighbourhood here was very lucky the winds worked in their favour, considering the damage not too far away. Thanks for your thoughts.