I’m lucky. I’ve never been IN a natural disaster. I am like many who watch television in awe with a heap of terror mixed in when fire, floods, cyclones, typhoons, earthquakes, tsunamis etc hit and create havoc for people, animals, property, places and roads.
As I write this fellow country men and women within the state that I live, are facing one of natures pretty awful natural disasters. Torrential rain has poured from the skies for weeks now, and the state of Queensland is facing its worst floods in history. Thousands of acres of farming lands are devastated – crops, farm animals, farms, and farm machinery are gone, or damaged. Homes and treasured possessions are gone, or damaged beyond repair. Not salvageable. Some homes are condemned. Never to be lived in again. If not demolished by the floods, demolished because they have no further use or value. Beyond repair.
Our hearts go out to all those who are victims of this terrible disaster, and our warming hearts go to the thousands who have volunteered to help these people and communities in their time of need.
Already financial aid is being collected by a variety of organisations including our governments, but the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and others are doing their bit. One doctor has donated some $300,000 worth of medical and other equipment for one of his colleagues whose own practice has been wiped away by the floods.
Money is being donated, resources from Australia and countries overseas are being sent to help out, but one of the biggest challenges is that the water is only slowly receding.
Unlike most other natural disasters that are over in a fairly short space of time, floods linger for ages. Already some people have been ‘in limbo’ for a couple of weeks and it may still be a few weeks before the water level is low enough for them to return. Roads, railway, electricity, water, sewerage – all in need of repair before anyone can start to live normally again.
Some of our major mines are flooded, and the rail links to transport the coal, and other minerals to the ports are broken. There will be empty ships waiting in port, with a long wait before they will be able to load again.
There are thousands of houses that will need tradesmen – builders, carpenters, electricians, plumbers etc – and we do not have enough of them so there is likely to be long delays before all is restored.
It is certainly one of the largest far reaching disasters Australia has had. It will be years before things return to normal. Thousands of people have lost their livelihoods too.
Lives have been lost too – some from accidents in the floods, but some from stupidity as some folk believe that they have the skills to venture into flood waters and survive. Many have just been washed away and their bodies later retrieved. Such a waste.
It is quite a tragedy all round. But Aussies are a resilient lot and we will all bounce back. We will help those who need it, and we will weather the storm.