A week from hell

People throughout Australia, and no doubt around the world, are right now reeling in shock at the devastation caused by the terrible fires burning across Southern Australia – fires that have so far left some 500 people injured and claimed the lives of at least 181 people, a figure that is expected to keep rising.

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With soaring temperatures and strong winds helping the fires to quickly spread, nearly 1,000 homes have so far been destroyed. Whole towns have been wiped out in a matter of hours and 365,000 hectares of land have already been burnt and blackened.

What makes this disaster even worse, is that many of these fires have been started deliberately by arsonists, or firebugs as they are known here.

Intentionally causing a bushfire in Australia carries a sentence of up to 15 years, or 25 years if the fire results in a death. Somehow even this doesn’t seem enough of a punishment for those who think they can play God with a box of matches. The actions of some this week have resulted in a country going up in smoke, and seen whole families being burnt alive while they try to escape in their cars. What possible punishment can be dealt out to fit such a heinous crime?

Sadly burning at the stake is no longer an option for the guilty party, but maybe the punishment should indeed be tailor made to fit the crime.

Pictures can always be used to speak 1000 words, and I think this SLIDESHOW from the BBC website completely sums up the magnitude and horror of this natural disaster…

Please CLICK HERE to make a DONATION to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal

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