Thoughts for a nation in shock

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(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.

6 Responses to “Thoughts for a nation in shock”

  1. Brad Shorr Says:
    February 20th, 2009 at 2:00 am

    Andrew, what a tragic story. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims. I had not heard about this at all, but there are few things as frightening as a fire.

    Brad Shorrs last blog post..Silly Sales Wordplay – Invest versus Spend

  2. Andrew Says:
    February 20th, 2009 at 8:38 am

    Absouletly right, Brad,

    For those that were killed, it was a terrible way to die.

    Andrews last blog post..Thoughts for a nation in shock

  3. Karen Swim Says:
    February 26th, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Andrew, I join you in offering my condolences to those who have lost homes and loved ones and in continuing to pray for an end to the fires. I have been praying and keeping up with news via Twitter. It is truly heartbreaking. I am glad that your family is safe and truly pray that no other lives are lost. Thank you for adding a personal perspective.

    Karen Swims last blog post..Little Lesons from a Big Speech

  4. drew Says:
    February 26th, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Thanks Karen.

    Fortunately, I think most of the fires are under control now, and I don’t think that any significant further losses of life are anticipated.

    Nevertheless, that is little consolation to those who have lost loved ones, and the prayers of caring people like yourself will be most appreciated by those who have been badly affected, especially through injury or loss of loved ones.

  5. ladykat Says:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 11:12 am

    We share your sadness over the loss of life in the Australian fires. Not only was there devastating human cost, but there have been estimates of millions of lost animal lives: koalas, kangaroos, cattle and sheep.

    I know they’ve arrested one man already for suspicion of arson.

    ladykats last blog post..Jackie and Dunlap on the Obama Dog Story

  6. drew Says:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Hi Ladykat,

    Thanks for your comment and welcome to my blog.

    You are certainly right there, and certainly the impact from the point of view of animals should certainly not be overlooked. One can only imagine what it was like for those poor things, especially those contained in the fields or trapped in cages. Just awful for them.

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