Fire kills in the south, floods kill in the north


Today’s high temperatures, accompanied by strong winds, have set the fire danger on much of the east coast to extreme.

But in Australia it’s not just a risk, bush fires are raging across Victoria.

A friend whose house burned down years ago said the greatest loss was of photos and treasures, not necessarily valuable in a monetary way but because of personal associations.

However, those are only things and can’t be compared with loss of life and 76 people are now confirmed dead as a result of the Victorian fires.

Kevin Rudd said hell and its fury  had been unleashed on the state.

At the same time, in a tragic irony, Queensland is under flood.

More than 60 per cent of Queensland is under water – 1 million square kilometers, or twice the area of Spain. Ingham has been hardest hit, with 2,900 homes damaged or flooded in a weekend storm and hundreds of people evacuated.

The main cities on northern Queensland’s coast, Townsville and Cairns, were flooded in January storms and are still receiving daily rain. The main highways to Townsville were cut off by water this week and some northern towns have been isolated for weeks.

The devastation is not restricted to property, three people are missing, including a five year old who it is feared was taken by a crocodile.

Lucky break for Hollows foundation


John Key’s broken arm was a lucky break for the Fred Hollows Foundation.

The TradeMe auction for his cast-off cast, which was signed by several Pacific Island leaders,  closed at 2pm with a final bid of $18,500, all of which goes to the Foundation.

The winner also gets morning tea with the Prime Minister.

The d word


 No one’s mentioning the d word but the contrast between the irrigated pasture in the foreground and the dry hills in the distance show how dry it is in North Otago.



It’s even worse further north, apropos of which RivettingKate Taylor asks a very good question.

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