OT: Fires in Australia & our members from Down Under

Posted by: Piano World

OT: Fires in Australia & our members from Down Under - 02/08/09 10:34 AM

Checking to see how our members from Down Under are doing.

The fires raging in Australia remind me of our own in California, except unfortunately Australia also is experiencing a high death toll.



http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/02/08/australia.wildfires/index.html
Posted by: CJM

Re: OT: Fires in Australia & our members from Down Under - 02/08/09 05:50 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
Checking to see how our members from Down Under are doing.

The fires raging in Australia remind me of our own in California, except unfortunately Australia also is experiencing a high death toll.[/b]
http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/many-good-people-lie-dead/2009/02/09/1234027889048.html

Regards
Chris
Posted by: currawong

Re: OT: Fires in Australia & our members from Down Under - 02/08/09 05:58 PM

I'm in NSW - it's certainly been hot, and there are bushfires around, but we're weeping for Victoria today.
Posted by: Robert 45

Re: OT: Fires in Australia & our members from Down Under - 02/08/09 11:41 PM

Here in New Zealand we are devastated by the grim, horrifying death toll in the Australian bush fires as well as the scores of injured and the enormous loss of people's homes and property.
Times like these draw our two nations together and our government is offering practical assistance in the wake of this disaster.


With special thoughts and prayers for our Aussie friends.


Robert.
Posted by: tanjinjack

Re: OT: Fires in Australia & our members from Down Under - 02/09/09 03:34 AM

I nearly get the chance to study in Melbourne and in Australia as well. I have done a lot of research and it has been a great city and a great country.

I wish that the Australian can go through it with minimal loss.

Good Luck!
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: OT: Fires in Australia & our members from Down Under - 02/09/09 08:47 AM

What a horrible tragedy. Entire cities have been destroyed, and many deaths have occurred. \:\( My thoughts are with you all.
Posted by: keystring

Re: OT: Fires in Australia & our members from Down Under - 02/09/09 10:56 AM

There are times when word fails. I just hope that all our Australian PW friends are safe. But our hearts must also go out to the many people we don't know who have been hit by this disaster. Somehow it doesn't seem real.

KS
Posted by: Terry C.

Re: OT: Fires in Australia & our members from Down Under - 02/09/09 01:28 PM

My prayers are with all of you in Australia!


Be well,
Terry C.
Posted by: Diane...

Re: OT: Fires in Australia & our members from Down Under - 02/09/09 01:42 PM

The news about the fires in Australia has been all over our news up here in Canada lately! So they don't do that, unless it's really bad!!!

Haven't heard from some of you from "Down Under", so hope you are all okay!
Posted by: currawong

Re: OT: Fires in Australia & our members from Down Under - 02/10/09 12:35 AM

Just bumping this in hopes that lotuscrystal and Zac (zp3929) (both Victorians) might check in.

We've now had a cool change where I am (most welcome!) and even a little rain. One can only hope Victoria gets some of it. (The death toll has apparently now reached 173...) Sad times.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: OT: Fires in Australia & our members from Down Under - 02/10/09 12:51 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by currawong:
We've now had a cool change where I am (most welcome!) and even a little rain. One can only hope Victoria gets some of it. (The death toll has apparently now reached 173...) Sad times.
Ew, currawong, I've been following this. But BBC doesn't explain the high death toll. Even past raging fires in the Los Angeles area don't cause that many deaths. What's going on?

What is going on? Friends of mine in Wales are bracing for more snow, and temperatures in the Scottish Highlands are supposed to be colder than recorded in many years.
Posted by: guest1013

Re: OT: Fires in Australia & our members from Down Under - 02/10/09 09:36 AM

currawong, thanks for that update, I hope we'll hear from lotuscrystal and Zac soon. I agree with Terry C., my prayers are with you.

About the death toll that argerichfan asked about, I thought I read it is because of the speed of the spread of the fires and also that mandatory evacuations do not occur. Evacuation was voluntary and people have fire plans for staying in their homes. But the intensity and speed overwhelmed the typical fire plan.
Posted by: keystring

Re: OT: Fires in Australia & our members from Down Under - 02/10/09 09:41 AM

Some of the PW students and pianists are also from Australia. Do we know whether they are all ok? I read that the heat wave is easing up. Are the fires starting to get under control too?
Posted by: currawong

Re: OT: Fires in Australia & our members from Down Under - 02/10/09 09:20 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by guest1013:
About the death toll that argerichfan asked about, I thought I read it is because of the speed of the spread of the fires and also that mandatory evacuations do not occur. Evacuation was voluntary and people have fire plans for staying in their homes. But the intensity and speed overwhelmed the typical fire plan. [/b]
That sounds like what I'm hearing, too. Add together a drought that's lasted for years, temperatures above 45C for days (if not weeks), and strong winds, and you get more than the average bushfire.

The recommended strategy has always been (I know this, I've lived in a bushfire-prone area for the last 30 years) to either: [1] get out early, or [2] stay with your house ... IF you are fit, able, know what to do and have adequately prepared the property. I think the sheer ferocity of these fires meant that people who were adequately prepared were still not able to do anything, and were forced to evacuate too late.

Many people also said the danger approached so quickly that they had no warning. I've been evacuated from the path of a major bushfire, and we had time to get out (no time to grab Things, mind you, but time to leave and somewhere to go). These people didn't, and in many cases the fire surrounded them.

I think in most average bushfires the strategies I mentioned work. But these were not average bushfires.
Posted by: Zengarra

Re: OT: Fires in Australia & our members from Down Under - 02/11/09 02:35 PM

We are in South East Queensland in the Scenic Rim a very beautiful and unspoilt area of the Great Dividing Range and in Moogerah Peaks National Parks close to Brisbane. For the last few years we have had drought and lived with a lot of bush fires in the area. Last year the Queensland Parks and Wild Life rangers did a controlled burn of top of our Mountain - Mount Greville, we are on the slopes on the north side. It was very scary coming home at night with a ring of fire coming slowly down the mountain towards our bed and breakfast with only a fire access road above us as protection. Then the rangers started a controlled burn back up the mountain from the fire access ring road to put it out. All was successful and the Australian bush is regenerating very fast (also because the drought ended) and looks beautiful again. But this was an example of reducing the fire burden (the part rotted fallen forest floor and the dead tress) so that we can sleep safely. You can see some photos of the regenerated bush on our web-site Zengarra Country House web page .
To think that the worst of the Victorian fires were lit deliberately by arsonists is beyond comprehension. Most of us as individuals have sent money but the community here in Boonah is planning a big fund raising concert for the victims. We know from the press that many Americans have given money to the Australian Red Cross appeal and we do appreciate it. Thanks for thinking of Australia.
Posted by: Betty Patnude

Re: OT: Fires in Australia & our members from Down Under - 02/11/09 03:36 PM

This is a huge sense of loss beyond sorrow and words just don't come out easily. Devastation and horrow. That it might be arson is beyond belief. How much heartbreak can one stand?

Betty
Posted by: eightyeight_keys

Re: OT: Fires in Australia & our members from Down Under - 02/12/09 04:04 AM

Thank you so much to all our wonderful American friends. We feel the pain over here to when you guys have tragedies, like the Californian fires a few months ago and we all cried on Sept 11th 2001. I did. I even went to NYC in 2003 to see the remains of the great twin towers which I loved so much, I spent hours walking around there. I was so so sad for you guys and I love you all. God bless wonderful America!
I know we in Australia will always have great mates in the USA and we appreciate this so much.
Thanks for the bottom of my heart for your messages and we are always here for you too.
Thanks and bless you all.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: OT: Fires in Australia & our members from Down Under - 02/12/09 06:23 PM

Michael:

We also have had bad forest fires here in Canada and while material loss can be replaced, lives cannot.

It is inconceivable to me that someone could be so cruel as to start these fires and create so much suffering.

My heart goes out to all you Aussies, by last account Canada apparently is sending right now some specialists and equipment to you.

It may be a drop in the bucket but hopefully it will be a tiny little help.

Bless your beautiful country!

Norbert
Posted by: hotkeys

Re: OT: Fires in Australia & our members from Down Under - 02/13/09 10:50 AM

I heard about the fires via the BBC and I am horrified that there is an element of criminal wrongdoing as well. Best wishes to all down under and especially to all the volunteer fire fighters who had to endure so much.

- Mark
Posted by: bernardk

Re: OT: Fires in Australia & our members from Down Under - 02/13/09 03:56 PM

I have many e-friends in Australia who are being affected in some way by this horrible catastrophe. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all, we wish that you come through it safely and become stronger than before.