Australia wildfires. death toll @84

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Australia wildfires. death toll @84

Post by Doreen on February 8th 2009, 3:36 pm

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29067017/




wildfire



Entire towns have been seared off the map by wildfires raging through southeastern Australia, burning people in their homes and cars and raising the death toll Sunday to 84, making it the country's deadliest fire disaster.
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Re: Australia wildfires. death toll @84

Post by shanaya on February 8th 2009, 5:12 pm

That is just horrible what is happening there! Floods, and bad fires! I hope it gets better soon!
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Re: Australia wildfires. death toll @84

Post by sharber60 on February 8th 2009, 8:30 pm

This is so sad..I notice in most pictures in the Victoria area where the whole town burned that all seem to have tin roofs. This is suspected as some
arson set fires..How sick can people be?
The cause of the inferno is not yet known. However, Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe said some of the fires may have been deliberately set.

Hot, windy & dry & setting fires.
Hope they are caught soon and charged for all deaths they caused for each
person who died.
http://news.sympatico.msn.ctv.ca/abc/home/contentposting.aspx?isfa=1&feedname=CTV-TOPSTORIES_V3&showbyline=True&date=true&newsitemid=CTVNews%2f20090208%2faustralia_fires_090208

Death toll hits 108 in Australian wildfires

Towering flames continued to rip through southern Australia on Sunday, killing at least 108 people and consuming entire towns as crews struggled to battle the country's deadliest-ever wildfires

Fueled by bone-dry conditions, searing winds and an intense heat wave which has pushed daytime highs to 47 C, at least 30 fires were still burning out of control in Victoria state.

Some locals appeared to perish in their cars as they fled the flames, and officials warned that the death toll could rise as crews reach fire-ravaged areas.

It could be several days before thousands of firefighters are able to bring the flames under control, according to local officials.

"Hell in all its fury has visited the good people of Victoria," Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told reporters as he toured the disaster site Sunday. "It's an appalling tragedy for the nation."

Rudd has called in the army to assist firefighters and residents, and he pledged about 10 million Australian dollars (C$8 million) in emergency aid.

Other states have also pledged money, as well as volunteer firefighters. Public donations are also pouring in.

Two regions have been particularly devastated - the town of Marysville and several hamlets in Kinglake, which are both about 100 kilometres north of Melbourne.

About 90 per cent of the buildings in Marysville have been destroyed, witnesses said. Local police have reported two deaths in the town of about 800 people.

"Marysville is no more," Senior Constable Brian Cross said.

In Kinglake, five of 40 houses were still standing, while forests and farmland have been reduced to ashes.

Restaurant worker Mandy Darkin said the situation deteriorated so quickly that it was difficult to flee.

"I looked outside the window and said: 'Whoa, we are out of here, this is going to be bad,'" she said. "I could see it coming. I just remember the blackness and you could hear it, it sounded like a train."

The Victoria Country Fire Service estimates that about 2,200 square kilometres of land have been burned out.

An unnamed resident told Sky News that he battled the blaze with a garden hose until his car gas tank exploded, which was followed by a propane tank in his house.

"It rained fire," he said. "We hid in our olive grove for an hour and watched our house burn."

On Saturday, the fires destroyed 700 homes as soaring temperatures mixed with high winds to create a firestorm that blew through most of the state, where all of the deaths have occurred.

Witnesses reported seeing trees exploding and ash raining down, as blasting winds pushed temperatures close to 50 C.

Police reported finding charred bodies in cars in at least two locations, which indicates that residents were burned alive as they attempted to flee the blazes.

At least 80 other victims have been hospitalized with burns. Dr. John Coleridge of Alfred Hospital said some had life-threatening injuries, while others had burned feet from running from the fires.

Officials said they expect the death toll to continue to rise. Conditions have hampered rescue crews from reaching all of the burned-out areas, where officials expect to find more victims.

Temperatures were considerably lower Sunday, about 25 C, but changing winds could push the fires in a number of directions.

Radio and television announcements reminded residents to utilize their "fire plans" and either stay at home or evacuate before the roads become impassable.

The cause of the inferno is not yet known. However, Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe said some of the fires may have been deliberately set.

Wildfires are relatively common in Australia during the summer months, and government statistics show that about half of the country's 60,000 fires are either deliberately set or are suspicious.

The previous worst fire disaster in the country was in 1983, when fires killed 75 people and destroyed more than 3,000 homes in the states of Victoria and South Australia. In 1939, 71 people died and 650 buildings were destroyed.
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Re: Australia wildfires. death toll @84

Post by irishgodfather1 on February 8th 2009, 9:35 pm

We have friends in Australia and they say there is a fire within 25K of them.
We hope that the powers that be get a handle on these fires.
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Re: Australia wildfires. death toll @84

Post by shanaya on February 8th 2009, 9:53 pm

irishgodfather1 wrote:We have friends in Australia and they say there is a fire within 25K of them.
We hope that the powers that be get a handle on these fires.

Yes, I hope they can contain the fires soon. Too much at stake in terms of lives at risk!
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Re: Australia wildfires. death toll @84

Post by Doreen on February 9th 2009, 2:39 pm

how horrible

we get these nasty fires in CA. and unfortunately it does take too many animals, we have had a few people die, but I don't think the count has ever been anything like Australia is dealing with.

I suppose under all this tragedy, the phones and internet service is down.

Where are you Carl???


Police declared incinerated towns crime scenes Monday, and the prime minister spoke of "mass murder" after investigators said arsonists may have set some of Australia's worst wildfires in history. The death toll rose to 166.
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