A CFA volunteer at a fire front at Rose River near Whitfield in Victoria.
Photo: Craig Abraham
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced yesterday a national day of mourning and a memorial service will honor the victims of the past week’s wildfires in southeastern Australia.
About 35 fires continued burning Thursday morning and this is Australia’s worst ever loss of life in peace time.
The death toll from the Victorian bushfires is expected to rise well over the 181 confirmed fatalities already recorded.
More than 450,000 hectares of land has been blackened, with 1,069 homes destroyed.
The New Zealand Red Cross has set up a Victoria Bushfire Appeal 2009. Since Monday already raised over $579,000 and combined with the New Zealand Government commitment of $500,000, the 2009 Victoria Bushfire Fund now totals over $1 million.
People in New Zealand wishing to support the 2009 Victorian Bushfire Fund can do so by donating to New Zealand Red Cross. Donations can be made by:
• visiting our website http://www.redcross.org.nz to make a secure online donation
• calling 0900 33 200 to make an automatic $20 donation
• sending a cheque to Australian Bushfire Appeal, Red Cross House, PO Box 12140, Thorndon, Wellington, 6144.
• making a donation at any New Zealand Red Cross service centre
Let’s us help our friends in Australia. Pray for them. Please donate.