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Hell has unleashed its fury on Victoria, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said today.
Sixty-five people are confirmed dead in savage bushfires which have ripped across Victoria, with police expecting the toll to rise.
"Hell and all its fury has visited the good people of Victoria in the last 24 hours," Mr Rudd told reporters in the fire-ravaged Yarra Valley.
"Many good people now lie dead. Many others lie injured.
"This is an appalling tragedy for Victoria but because of that it's an appalling tragedy for the nation.
"Australia the country stands behind Victoria at this awful time.
"Our first response as human beings is one of the deepest empathy for people whose lives have now been devastated.
"This loss of life, the numbers of injured, the horrific injuries, our thoughts and our prayers go out to each and every one of them as they now try and deal with this tragedy and recover from the damage which has occurred."
Twenty-five victims were killed in the Kinglake area north of Melbourne, one in the central regional city of Bendigo and another in the nearby town of Long Gully. Nine deaths were confirmed on Sunday afternoon in Gippsland.
Hundreds of homes have been destroyed and at least 200,000 hectares of land has been burnt out in more than 400 fires in every part of the state over the weekend.
Mr Rudd paid tribute to firefighters who have averted even further devastation and said the army would be deployed to help.
"Also as human beings we salute the extraordinary courage of all the emergency services workers," he said.
"Police, the Country Fire Authority, those who work in our hospitals, those in the SES (State Emergency Service).
"At times like this, the nation stands behind states like Victoria when the Australian Defence Force is needed.
"All the resources as required by the Victorian authorities from the Australian Defence Force will be provided, wherever that is, whichever community it is, whatever the defence force can do, we will do.
"Some of these communities don't have anything left.
"This is very large scale stuff."
Mr Rudd announced a joint federal-state $10 million relief fund, and appealed to Australians to give generously.
"My appeal to all Australians is to dig deep as people's lives have been shattered," he said.
"The national government will be with the Victorian government, through the awful and ugly days that lie ahead and in the longer path of recovery."
Originally posted by iced_blue
the problem isn't lack of helicopters, it's lack of water. it's virtually impossible for them to find water;
Originally posted by tezzajw
That's a resource management issue. If the many governments that we have in our country were serious about bushfires, they would dedicate water reserves during the off-season to be available for the firechoppers, when needed.
For six months of the year we're not under bushfire threat. That's when the work can be carried out to make sure that everything will be ready to go for when Summer kicks in.
It can be done, but it's not, as it's not profitable. There's too much money spent on jet fighters, submarines, tanks and other wartoys, instead. Sure, like they'll save us...
Originally posted by iced_blue
but as for creating a reservoir used for firefighting only in only 10 - 11 months is impossible,
Originally posted by TheKingsVillian
reply to post by SvenTheBerserK
You have no understanding of my comment to make that kind of reply, you think i'm not worried about my parents and girlfriend.
I was making a relevent point, what are you doing looking for props.
[edit on 8-2-2009 by TheKingsVillian]