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A Tragedy On An Unimaginable Scale

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Adrian Musolino
Adrian Musolino

Australia is bleeding. The bush fires that have ravaged the Victorian countryside have claimed 181 lives at the time of writing. Whole towns have been completely wiped off the map as the severity of the devastation sinks in. 

The numbers are stark. Over 1,000 homes have been destroyed; approximately 500 people have been injured and around 365,000 hectares of land has been torched and these numbers are before full investigations have been conducted in the worst affected areas. 

Whole townships have been completely destroyed; many of the survivors have been left with nothing. 

The intensity and speed of the fire, fuelled by the record-breaking heatwave and intense and unpredictable winds gave few of the victims a chance to react. 

The rescue operation continues and officials have warned that the death toll could soar. 

As the operation to recover bodies and assist the survivors continues, the hunt for the arsonists who started some of the fires begins.

This is perhaps the most difficult part of the tragedy to comprehend – the fact that this tragedy was worsened by the actions of delinquents. 

What drives such people to commit crimes of this scale, destroying so many lives? 

It is difficult to understand and comprehend how the mind and logic of arsonists works. They must surely be devoid of compassion. 

As Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd described the arsonists have committed "murder on a grand scale."
Such tragedies also display the opposite side of human nature, the caring side. 

Australians have already raised over $35 million for the relief appeal and that number will only rise as donations from the entertainment, sport and business sectors filter through.

If you wish to do your part to help out, please donate to the Red Cross appeal.

Natural disasters strike with little warning and leave complete devastation in their wake. 

However, their frightening impact still sends a shiver down our spines. 

Our thoughts are with the survivors and those impacted by the tragedy.  

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