The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).
No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Sorting out some details
to the best of my knowledge the answer is no, however like most animals they are quite strong swimmers once they take the plunge, so to speak.
An interesting aside to this is that while on land they only ever move both back legs together, in the water however they move each back leg independently of the other.
Also for the critics of the statement about "dry heat" might I suggest they spend a day in a semi tropical zone, say Queensland in Australia or perhaps Florida in the USA, when the temperature is about the 95f with a relative humidity rating of 80%... then try a day of the same temperature in say Victoria or California where the relative humidity will be perhaps 30%... then come back and let me explain "dry heat" again.
For the first time for a few days there has been an increase in the number of confirmed deaths in the Victorian bushfires... the total now stands at 200... this is a terrible death toll but it is still expected that it will increase significantly over a period of time, we initially found it hard to believe that it would take so long to arrive at a final count, however as more detail has come to light on the fires it is becoming more understandable.
There have been estimates of temperatures of up to 1000c which of course is sufficient to totally incinerate a body leaving just a small pile of ashes, the forensic experts are painstakingly examining the remains of houses, buildings and vehicles to try to ascertain whether anybody perished in them, they are being assisted by lists of missing people and the likely location at the time the fires hit their area.
It is very likely that there will never be any trace found of many of the missing people, particularly as time passes and there is wind and rain to disperse the evidence.
Add this as another factor for surviving relatives and friends to cope with and its obvious that the effects of the fires will be with us for many years to come.
Most of the survivors have described day turning to night as smoke obliterated the sun, there being only a precious few minutes before the sheets of flames arrived accompanied by wind noise usually described as sounding like a fleet of jet aircraft with engines at full pitch sweeping toward them and almost as quickly screaming past them, they tell of watching houses explode in the fierce heat and wind, while the day produced very high and dry conditions the wind that terrified them was generated by the flames roaring through tree tops like a tornado.
There has been an arrest and police have charged a man with arson over the lighting of one of the fires in Victoria, that blaze cost 11 lives so its easy to imagine that public feeling is running very high.
There are still 6 separate fires burning at this stage, 11 days after "Black Saturday" these are all in pretty inaccessible country so are proving very difficult to contain, yet another bad feature is that most of the worst fires were/are in Victoria's water catchment areas, so the last thing they want now is HEAVY rain which will wash all the contamination into the water supply reservoirs, gentle soaking rain on the other hand would be a god send.