After the weekend, our sunburned country is just burned. At least in Victoria. Too many months of drought followed by a record heatwave and then, on Saturday, the hottest day on record combined with high hot winds have taken a terrible toll in people and property.
The death toll has doubled since yesterday, jumping from 65 to 130 in less than twenty four hours and is expected to keep on rising as the emergency services can get back into the affected areas to search the ruins. It's Australia's worst natural disaster in terms of lives lost. Ash Wednesday took more property but Saturday's fires were just too intense and fast and unimaginable. And most of them are still burning despite cooler weather and the best efforts of the firefighters.
It's hard to watch the news or listen to the radio without worrying about friends and friends of friends and family and feeling helpless here in the city. Luckily everyone I know is safe but to everyone who's hurt or who've lost people or animals or property, my heart goes out to you. As it does to those who are flooded in the north (stupid rain, come down HERE).
The most horrifying thing is that they think most of the fires have been deliberately lit. And all I can say to those mass murdering scumbags is that karma is coming after you with a red hot pitchfork and you deserve whatever comes to you.
For those who want to help - if you're in Australia consider giving blood (the agencies don't want goods right now) or money (and you can donate from overseas as well). Times are hard but they just got a lot harder for thousands of people so please give if you can.
Red Cross Australian Bushfire Appeal (Red Cross takes none of this money)