Updated 1430, Friday 13 February (Sydney time)
Over the weekend of 7-8 February, major fires have struck the Australian state of Victoria. Social media networks here in Australia such as Facebook and Twitter have been extremely busy with news updates, opinons, views, assistance and more. This is in addition to the traditional media sites.
After talking to various people (mainly in the US), I thought I would post a brief update and tell you where to get further info if you need it. The information coming in via both social and traditional media has been coming in constantly. I’ll leave the constant updates to the media and Drue and I will most likely talk more about it in the next episode of Erk Pod.
For our friends in America and elsewhere outside Australia, the major fires in Victoria is about 1000km (600 miles) to the south of Erk Pod HQ which is located in New South Wales. There are some fires around Sydney as well but nowhere near the devestation in Victoria.
If you need more information, check out the websites of Sky News and the ABC. If you are a Twitter user, follow @SkyNewsAust (Sky News), @774melbourne (ABC Local Radio, Melbourne). These sites have constant updates.
Authorities were asking people NOT to visit the websites of the Victorian Emergency Services unless you are directly affected. Similarly, people were asked NOT to call the Emergency number 000 unless assistance was urgently required.
Many areas have not been accessed yet with entire towns being destroyed. Further information will be obtained once fire crews and investigators access the relevant firegrounds.
As of the time of writing (Friday afternoon, Sydney time) there are:
- 181 people confirmed deceased
- Estimated death toll expected to be around 350
- At least 1850 homes and other buidlings lost
- At least 330 000 hectares (815 444 acres) of land destroyed.
- Fire and other Emergency Services from other states and New Zealand assisting
- Australian Defence Force assisting
- Temperatures in the state were up to 49C/120F with winds of 120kph/75mph.
- There was spotting up to 15km away.
These fires are the worst fires in terms of deaths and destruction in Australian history. For updated numbers and multimedia of the fires, check the websites above.