Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The world is watching the Victorian fires

The Huffington Post has been giving extensive coverage to the Victorian bushfires. Their latest item captures both the anger and the sadness that has been expressed globally:

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, visibly upset during a television interview, reflected the country's disgust at the idea that arsonists may have set some of the 400 fires that devastated Victoria state, or helped them jump containment lines.

...From the air, the landscape was blackened as far as the eye could see. In at least one town, bodies still lay in the streets. Entire forests were reduced to leafless, charred trunks, farmland to ashes. Victoria police spokeswoman Christie Pengally said the death toll as of late Monday was 166.

At Kinglake, a body covered by a white sheet lay in a yard where every tree, blade of grass and the ground was blackened. Elsewhere in the town, the burned-out hulks of four cars were clustered haphazardly together after an apparent collision. Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio reported a car in a small reservoir, the driver apparently steering there in desperation.
Australian Wildfires Called An Act Of "Mass Murder" By Prime Minister
The international interest in the disaster is illustrated by the most recent visits to this website. Only 17.2% were from Australia. Normally it is more than 50%.

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