Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

8.2.09

The wind was always going to come and it came in the middle of the afternoon blowing fifty degrees of furnace in front of it and it headed towards the eucalypt-covered mountain and the mountain exploded.

The news coming down from the mountain is dreadful. There are plenty of ways out of the mountain but only one - the road to Whittlesea - that gives you up to four lanes of firebreak and even that isn't enough. There are reports some fleeing were turned back - up the mountain - before it exploded, because the fire at that earlier stage may have been thought to be threatening an area further down. This is unconfirmed but chilling in its implication.

The media are already calling this Black Saturday but to hell with the media and their glib labels. A politician muscled his way on-air mid-afternoon with a self-important message that was about as useful at that particular juncture as an ad for Frank Walker's National Tiles.

The family of the partner of William and Thomas's much older sister lives in Kinglake and surrounding areas. A sister and a brother lost their houses but they and their young children were unharmed; their parents' house was saved. They reported seeing cars burnt out along roads leading out of the area. These roads are only just this afternoon being entered and reopened by police and emergency workers. They are finding horrors beyond anyone's imagination.

There is an utterly chilling photograph at theaustralian.com showing four burnt cars jammed together on the edge of a road under a giant blackened gum tree, melded like creatures clasping each other for comfort in terror. They had obviously collided in the black horror that engulfed the mountain before it went up in flames; the black horror was smoke blacker than any night, removing any hope of vision for the occupants. This would have been accompanied by a deafening roar that would have destroyed any possibility of hearing another vehicle - even colliding. The drivers would have been driving deaf and blind and probably panic-stricken through a winding hell that led to nowhere.

Unimaginable. God rest their souls. The extent of this disaster may be apparent tomorrow. Fires are still burning.

10 comments:

kimbofo said...

This is scary stuff. Glad to hear your relatives are OK.

Diane said...

Praying for all - this is unimaginable.

Red Dirt Mummy said...

We're watching it on the news, so scary and so sad. We're waiting to hear from a couple of family members in fire-affected parts over there. Thinking of you and yours.

jo said...

I thought of you and yours when reading this mornings paper. I'm happy to see everyone is safe.Mother nature is a bear.

Dr. Alice said...

I've been reading Tim Blair's coverage of the fires. This is just unbelievable. So glad to know that you are all right.

Lindie said...

Our hearts and prayers are with all of you. This is a terrible tragedy. We in the USA get prayers from you from time to time and now we are sending ours.

Rose said...

You were #1 on my blog list today -- so glad to check in and find you ok. The tragedy is shattering. Rose

kitchen hand said...

Thank you all for your comments and kind thoughts. Plenty will need your prayers.

breadchick said...

Just came up from air from the rock I've been under the past few weeks and came here first to check on you and yours.

Glad to see everyone is safe and like all above, you and your countrymen are in my thoughts.

kitchen hand said...

Thank you, Breadchick.