Posts Tagged ‘Victorian bushfires’

In my next life…

March 1, 2009

..please don’t let me come back as a Chinese miner! The final body from the Tunlan Coal Mine explosion in Northern China’s Shanxi Province has been located, bringing the total number of miners killed to 78. 358 managed to survive the gas explosion, many suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.

When events like this happen, while tragic, the media loves to run away with the statistics. They’re always excited to cover the ‘biggest’ or ‘worst’ or ‘longest’ statistic since last year/decade/century. Recently with the Australian heatwave in Victoria, and the bushfires thereafter, the media was in a frenzy. “This was the longest heatwave since records began, in 1876!!!” or somesuch. “The most killed in bushfires in Australia’s history!!” Tragic incidents, but the media lives for such events.

In poor old China however, mine disasters are so frequent that well – there’s just no real historical outlet to compare it to. This most recent mine disaster was the worst since….last year. Last year! These damned things happen multiple times a year. Last year alone some 5000 miners were reportedly killed in incidents alone – and that’s only reported! Who knows the actual figure.


The sky is grey.

February 18, 2009

Recently, my home state of Victoria has been beset by ferocious bushfires. Approximately 7000 people have lost their homes with a death toll of 200 and climbing. Initially our Summer was quite mild, but by the second month it had kicked into top gear. Through mid to late January and then into February we had what became one of the hottest weeks on record, with days of temperatures over 43 degrees Celsius. We actually hit the record high of something like 45.6 degrees.

Smoke from country bushfires lingers over the city of Melbourne.

Smoke from country bushfires lingers over the city of Melbourne.

This extremely hot weather combined with a lengthy period without rain became the perfect combination for an absolutely terrible bushfire. Even today, over two weeks later the smoke still lingers in the sky.

The sky in Melbourne for this past week has resembled how the sky in China looks practially every day. The horizon a constant grey haze which leads into a light blue grey sky. On the heaviest smoke day, there was no cloud definition; just like China. The biggest difference however was in China, the visibility is 100 times worse. In Melbourne, despite the haze, you can still see a very long way; in China – it gets so smoggy it’s just outright disgusting.

Smoke from factorys and man made pollutants lingers over China..permanantly.

Smoke from factorys and man made pollutants lingers over China..permanantly.


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