Monday, February 09, 2009

Scorched Earth


I love Australia. I love the people, the animals, the land. I lived in Adelaide longer than I have ever lived anyplace else, and a part of me will always call Australia home. Watching the fires burn across Victoria these last few days has left me sick at heart.

I know what it's like to hear the roar of a bushfire descending on your home, to see the walls glow red from the flames. But I was lucky; the bushfire that threatened my house in the hills above Adelaide stopped a few hundred feet away. Ironically, I would use the "list of things to take in a bushfire" I drew up after that event a few years later to evacuate for Katrina.

Seeing the devastation left by these fires has me thinking, inevitably, about Katrina. Australia is talking about forming a reconstruction commission to oversee the rebuilding of the devastated areas. After Cyclone Tracy destroyed Darwin in the 70's, a Reconstruction Commission was formed with the task of rebuilding the city in five years. They accomplished the task in three.

It's been three and a half years since Katrina, and New Orleans is still a mess. I'm thinking we should have brought in the Aussies.


Steve Malley said...

That's one big reason I live in this part of the world: society still works....

Barbara Martin said...

It's truly a terrible thing. I've checked with friends living well north of Melbourne who are safe and not in any danger. The photo of the wild koala taking water from the firefighter is very touching.

laughingwolf said...

both the ozzies AND the dutch, candy

i have friends in oz too, but in and around sydney, so the only problems they have are weather/heat related, thankfully

Sphinx Ink said...

My sympathies to all the sufferers. The news reports of entire families burnt while fleeing in cars and on foot is horrifying. Such devastation.

And laughingwolf is right--the U.S. should bring the Aussies and the Dutch to help with the post-Katrina/Rita (and now) post-Gustav/Ike rebuilding process.

Charles Gramlich said...

I certainly feel for them all.