Australia Heat waves Drought Fire Floods Earthquakes and Cyclones

The experience of natural disaster has come to be seen as part of the Australian national character as described in the poem 'My Country' by Dorothea McKellar (1904).

I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror - the wide brown land for me!

In Australia we experience a  large range of 'natural disasters' such as in recent times, terrible fires in Victoria, the devastating Queensland floods, several Cyclones encroaching on our shores (as this is being posted), earthquakes in Newcastle and landslides in Thredbo, just to name a few. These events cause great financial hardship for individuals and communities, and has resulted in loss of life.

Massive Cyclone Yasi 1.30pm  1st Feb 2011
and baby Cyclone Anthony in the outback

The worst toll on human life caused by natural disaster were In

1895–1896 South Eastern Australia, Widespread heatwave killed 437, including 47 in Bourke, New South Wales.

Dec 1938-Jan 1939 Heatwave killed 438 and sparked the Black Friday bushfire's which killed 71
Unofficial records show temperatures of around 47 °C

4th March 1899 Bathurst Bay QLD, Category 5 Cyclone Mahina killed 410 it created such an intense, phenomenal and world record height storm surge of 40 feet and reached 5km inland.
Within an hour, the pearling fleet (at anchor) was either driven onto the shore or onto the Great Barrier Reef. Only 4 sailors survived and over 307 were killed.
Over 100 Indigenous Australians died, including some who were caught by the back surge and swept into the sea while trying to help shipwrecked men. Thousands of fish and some sharks and dolphins were found 15 m above sea level up to several kilometres inland and rocks were embedded in trees. On Flinders Island (Queensland) dolphins were found 15.2 metres up on the cliffs.

Jan 25-9Feb 2009 Southeastern Australia heat wave. A nine day heatwave with Adelaide recording six consecutive days over 40 °C (104 °F), a high of 45.7 °C (114.3 °F) and a record overnight minimum of 33.9 °C (93 °F) on 28 January. Sparked the Black Saturday bushfire's. Health authorities attribute 374 deaths to the Heatwave.
The Black Saturday bushfire's were a series of bushfire's that ignited or were burning across the Australian state of Victoria on and around Saturday 7 February 2009 during extreme bushfire-weather conditions, resulting in Australia's highest ever loss of life from a bushfire. 173 people died as a result of the fires and 414 were injured.

In recent news, Queensland police have confirmed the death toll from the state's flooding disaster has risen to 22.

Australian Values

In tough times during natural disasters, supporting and helping others is part of Australian values. People are quick to lend a hand when needed, participate to fundraising projects and volunteer for charity or community work.

A large number of volunteers participate in emergency and rescue operations during bushfire's, storms, floods or even assist medical teams to provide health services in remote areas.

You might not have saved up a lot of money in your life, but if you have saved a lot of heartaches for other people, you are going to be a very rich person.

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