On the weekend, the state of Victoria suffered its worst bushfire disaster in Australia’s history. This is Australia’s worst ever loss of life in peace time.
There are almost 200 people dead, almost 800 homes destroyed, and 5000 people homeless.
With strong winds and temperatures soaring to 47C (116F), fire storms swept through small towns and country properties, wiping out everything in their path in only minutes.
There are still over 20 fires burning.
The Australian Red Cross has set up a Victorian Bushfire Appeal 2009. In two days, they have amazingly collected more than $30 million in public donations.
I’ve never experienced a house fire before. Yet I’m deeply shaken. I can’t imagine what it would be like to look at the place where my house once stood, see everything I owned turned into a pile of ash, and having nothing but the clothes on my back.
My heart grieves.
Throughout this week, I’ve been inspired by people and businesses who have pledged to donate. My web hosting company, my children’s primary school, my local fruit market, a few mothers sitting around chatting at the pool. No donation is too small. Please spare a few dollars for the families affected.
You can donate online at the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal, or donate with a credit card over the phone 1800 811 700.
Images from new.ninemsn.com.au