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Not quite 12 months later and we're well and truly into in this year's fire season, and unseasonal heat.
Remember that fire season a few years back that horrified you, with the burnt koalas and dying livestock, and almost a third of the continent going up in smoke and flame? This season is going to be worse.
Last year was the hottest on record, yet our federal government not denied the science, it cut back funds for fighting natural disasters, working on prevention strategies and compensation for those caught in the path of the disasters. this year, we've already had several horrific heatwaves (from October), half the country is struggling with temperatures well into the mid-40s Celsius, and this weekend we've seen terrible fires.
The outskirts of Melbourne have been on fire. And today, just down the road from where we used to live (remember Howlong?) everyone was told to evacuate while they could. That's Leneva and Barnawatha, where I used to drive to work in Beechworth. Our friends on Chiltern's outskirts may have lost their house. This is quite scary.
I've changed the name of this weather/floods/fires blog. It reflects the words of Dorothy Mackellar's poem My Country, which is iconic and almost embarrassingly cliched and makes us squirm until events like this weekend happen. Then we kind of rough-pride it out with 'yeah, it's Australia, mate. It burns. We just get on with it.'
Marksierra's part of Melbourne has already felt temperatures drop. Albury Wodonga is still waiting. You wouldn't believe that earlier in the week, Melbournians were shivering, and Sydneysiders had a tornado rip through town, shredding buildings in half and leaving an asbestos-riddled mud flood for the cleanup crews to deal with.
Hong Kong has had a scorching year. Hottest on record. That said, mid-40s sounds just awful.
there've been some shocking landslides and fierce storms all around China, Hong Kong, Philippines, well the whole region really. I suspect a lot of it is under-reported.(I'm worried even though I feel powerless)
I read there were 80 fire vehicles this evening, fighting blazes near our friends' places yet not managing to have much effect. I can barely remember what that was like, and I've never known it to be like this so close to Christmas.
the combination of fire/heat and strong winds, and the electrical storms we're getting, with so much thunder and lightning, this could be like Hell. This weather is horrid, and I have no idea how emergency workers can manage to do their jobs in it while wearing while all that protective gear.
Joanne, I saw the news about the crazy stuff happening in Australia recently, it must be very scary indeed! We, here in NJ have been having some unseasonably warm weather, except for yesterday, when it was in the 30s F., which is more normal for this time of year. Some of us are actually hoping we get more normal December weather, 60 and 50F degrees during the day is totally off and unusual for the month of December in NJ. just doesn't seem right. Hope things calm down for you there.
I think we're all in for rough times. People aren't thinking about what this all means for our food production abilities, which in turn affects employment rates etc.
then there's the pest control issues, domestic and industrial.
For now, though, I just hope everyone is safe.
It was exciting to read that some survivors in China were being dug out, until they weren't faring well at all. And then really rough weather hit parts of the US, while others were too balmy for this time of year.
Spare a thought, please, for people in the coastal west of Victoria, Australia - the Otways. Five towns evacuated for fast-spreading bushfire on Christmas Day: 116homes razed, over 2200hectares burnt out (right to the water's edge, at the shore line), but so far no human lives lost and no burns injuries reported that I know of.
The Barnawatha-Indigo Valley fire from last week is still burning, barely contained (my friend was on crew for Christmas Day). Both this fire and the one above are expected to burn for most of January (difficult to get to denser parts of the bush to completely put them out and the embers fly so far ahead on strong winds).
My brother flew over most of the state yesterday, to get to Melbourne. He said its so tinder-dry it's all brown and black from drought and fires.
Just woke up, and read about the UK floods. At least here it's summer. It's awful to lose everything and be homeless, but there's a sense of summer camp mixed with the unreality... To lose everything in the middle of the night, and it's cold, dark and wet and getting colder and wetter, well 'bleak' doesn't begin to sum it up.
reading about Alabama, and now the families of those people in Texas... It's not just that this is awful stuff happening, and it's everywhere; it's majorly catastrophic events that are occurring, and it seems that each one is a little out of its usual cycle and a bit worse than usual.
A rough way to observe 'the season of peace', and I suspect these communities just want the holidays over.
FWIW, I'm praying for kinder weather conditions, more stable ground conditions, weather-proof housing, reliable transport, clean water and safe food, for all. Please Gd's, no disasters for 2016 and beyond.
huge storms this weekend in Tuvalu and the possibility of thousands homeless.
So it was good news that some of the Chinese miners were rescued, after 5 days trapped underground.
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