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130 people dead, 750 homes destroyed in worst bushfires in Australia's history

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SantaSteve

130 people dead, 750 homes destroyed in worst bushfires in Australia's history

EXCERPT:

NEWS.com.au

February 09, 2009

THE Victorian bushfire emergency will get worse before it gets better, Premier John Brumby has warned.

"We've still got fires that are not contained,'' Mr Brumby told ABC TV tonight.

"There is a huge effort to get them under control.

"Tragically, we will have more deaths later this week.''

Thirty-one fires are still burning as the death toll in Australia's worst ever bushfires tonight climbed to 130, with 30 people alone killed in the small hamlet of Kinglake, northeast of Melbourne.

New deaths have also been reported at Flowerdale, where four people have now perished, and at Clonbinane, near Kilmore, where one person is confirmed dead.

...

Towns at risk in northeast Victoria include Beechworth, Yackandandah and Toolangai.

Amid speculation some of the fires in Victoria were deliberately lit - and with reports yesterday that people were returning to relight blazes after fire crews had left an area - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said: "There are no words to describe it other than mass murder."

The public response to the catastrophe has been immediate, with thousands of people donating millions of dollars to the official Red Cross relief fund. Concerned friends and relatives have also used the Herald Sun bushfire message board to post pleas for information on loved ones.

At least 750 homes have been destroyed across the state, and 3733 people have registered with the Red Cross after evacuating their properties. The number left homeless is expected to be far higher, the Red Cross said.

...

Six victims were in one car trying to outrun the inferno which swept through Kinglake in minutes. A resident said the town was littered with burnt-out cars and he believed many contained bodies.

"It's going to look like Hiroshima, I tell you, it's going to look like a nuclear bomb," he told Melbourne's Herald Sun.

His daughter told of another resident who "went to put his kids in the car, put them in, turned around to go grab something from the house, then his car was on fire with his kids in it, and they burnt".

Among the survivors, families sat in dazed disbelief, surrounded by mattresses, dogs and whatever meagre possessions they managed to gather as they fled the fires.

Some talked of friends who had lost children, brothers and sisters, kids who have lost best friends and of a woman who has not seen her husband since Saturday. They said they had no warning before daylight turned to night and their communities were enveloped in a wall of fire and smoke.

"We looked over and there was a wall of flames looking at us and everything went pitch black. There was no warning," Joanne Fisher of Kinglake said. "I've never seen anything like it in my life ... You see this on TV, it doesn't happen to you."

It was believed the fire in Bendigo was caused by a cigarette, but Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon said she was sickened by the fact some other fires might have been deliberately lit.

"It makes me very angry ... to then have someone who may have lit these fires. Fires are so devastating. The injuries we are seeing. We are talking about a massive death toll."

Police had designated affected areas as crime scenes.

Victorian Premier John Brumbt said there would be a Royal Commission into the fires.

A survivor told news.com.au that arsonists should hope the police caught them first. "Watch your back, that's all I want to say to them. Watch your back, 24/7."

Teams of disaster victim identification experts were flying in from all over Australia. Extra fire crews were being sent from interstate.

Mr Kevin Rudd offered army troops to help firefighters control the fires. He and state Premier John Brumby also opened up $10 million in emergency funding yesterday.

"This is of a level of horror that few of us anticipated," he said this morning.

SOURCE

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131 people dead, 750 homes destroyed in worst bushfires in Australia's history

guys its been a bad weekend here in Australia its long way from where I live but it is still distressing

it is near where our member Mrs Claus lives

Im sure your prayers are needed

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Michael Rielly
131 people dead, 750 homes destroyed in worst bushfires in Australia's history

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25027055-421,00.html

guys its been a bad weekend here in Australia its long way from where I live but it is still distressing

it is near where our member Mrs Claus lives

Im sure your prayers are needed

We're thinking of you Steve! Stay safe!

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PattyClaus

Santa Steve,

I saw this on the news this morning...how absolutely dreadful. Our prayers are with you and yours in Australia that this is contained and no more loss of life!

Please stay safe...

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Santa Claus Ohio

Santa Steve, I too saw this on the news this morning! My thoughts and prayers are for all the victims of this horrible fire and you and your family. Stay safe!

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SantaSteve

the toll is now at 166 and expected to go higher

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Michael Rielly

Arsonists will face murder charges when caught

EXCERPT:

NEWS.com.au

February 09, 2009

ARSONISTS have re-lit blazes barely fought into submission by over-stretched fire crews.

At least two people have been charged with arson in NSW - and one will face court today.

As Victorian Premier John Brumby yesterday broke down in tears over the horrifying events, South Australian Premier Mike Rann described the arsonists as "terrorists".

Today a shaken Prime Minister Kevin Rudd branded them "mass murderers" - and readers are voicing their fury at such lunacy. Have your say below.

Premier Nathan Rees agreed with the tough sentiment, saying anyone caught lighting fires in NSW would be severely dealt with.

...

"These people are terrorists within our nation, they are the enemy within and we have to be increasingly vigilant about them,'' Mr Rann said.

Police warned anyone caught setting the fires could be charged with murder, as the death toll yesterday grew at a sickening rate.

CFA deputy chief Steve Warrington said firefighters battling a blaze at Churchill were being hampered by at least one firebug, re-igniting areas after fire crews had been through to extinguish the fire.

"We know we do have someone who is lighting fires in this community. While we often think it's spotting, we also know there are people lighting fires deliberately,'' he said.

Victoria Police Deputy Chief Commissioner Kieran Walshe would not say which fires police thought were the result of arson.

SOURCE

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Santa Spice

I belong to a yahoogroup of Masons and there are several on the list who live there. What we are hearing is horrible. This is a very terrible situation.

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Santa Everett
ARSONISTS have re-lit blazes barely fought into submission by over-stretched fire crews.

"We know we do have someone who is lighting fires in this community. While we often think it's spotting, we also know there are people lighting fires deliberately,'' he said.

SOURCE

The arsonists being burned alive is too good for them, but one day they will pay dearly.

Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

My thoughts and prayers are with these innocent people.

Edited by Santa Everett

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SantaSteve

Victoria fires: 173 dead, towns ruined, police chase arsonists

luckily no one I now is in this area but I have friends who have freinds who have lost thir homes and the stories of the heat is amazing this all started on a day when the temp was 46 which was the hottet day ever in Victoria

some people will never be found they where literaly cremated with nothing left behind

and yet it is the stories of survivers that are the most amazing

and to make matters worse there are floods in the north of Queensland also

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Santa Dave

Stay safe Steve!

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Santa Dave

Stay safe Steve!

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