(A house nearby Yarra Glen, east of Melbourne, completely destroyed by via (Image via Wikipedia released into the public domain by photographer Nick Carlson))
Today I would like to take a break from the subject of business ethics and express my thoughts, prayers and condolences for those affected by horrendous bushfires in my home state of Victoria, in the South East of Australia.
The fires represent my home country’s worst peacetime disaster on record. According to a Bloomberg report earlier this week, the situation as at February 15 was as follows.
• the fires had claimed 181 lives, and it was possible that the eventual toll may reach 300; and
• more than one thousand homes had been destroyed, leaving an estimated 4,200 people homeless.
A national day of mourning will be observed across Australia on this coming Sunday (February 22). My thoughts and prayers go out to all have been effected, and particularly those who have lost loved ones or suffered personal injury.
In particular, special thoughts go out to residents the worst effected town, the iconic township of Marysville. Not only has the town been completely wiped out and destroyed, it is believed that up to one hundred of the town’s population of five hundred may have perished (houses are still being searched for bodies).
Prior to its destruction, the town was a local icon and a beacon for tourism. Surrounded by lush green mountain ranges with many fern gullies and a popular walking track to nearby Stevensons falls, the town, which offered a variety of guest houses, galleries, cafes and restaurants, and was popular with tourists, honeymooners and skiers headed for the nearby Lake Mountain Ski Resort. My mother and father had their honeymoon there.
Thankfully, as I understand it, most of the fires have no been brought under control. At this stage, my own family, who live on the eastern side of the nearby city of Melbourne, are not in imminent danger. That said, of course, the majority of residents in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne are on high alert, so I hope and pray for their continued safety.
Again, my thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been affected.