Sunday, November 22, 2009

Floods and Fire

My heart goes out to those who've been caught in the floods in recent days. One of the shocking things about events like this is the way it strikes without warning. Whilst there were weather reports of heavy rain few people could have prepared for the deluge that has swept Cumbria destroying bridges, creating evacuees and damaging other parts of the infrastructure.

One heroic policeman, Bill Barker, has died as he tried to protect the public by directing people off a bridge that collapsed and he was swept away in the floods. A canoeist has also died elsewhere in a storm swollen river.

When disasters like this strike the fact that we're a rich country means very little, at least until the crisis has passed and we can begin rebuilding the area. It's a warning for the future that countries like the UK are not invulnerable to catastrophic natural events.

Meanwhile, as we've just received the largest amount of rainfall in one go since records began, on the other side of the world New South Wales is in lock down preparing for its worst fire-day ever, it's premier stated "It has never been this hot, dry or windy in combination ever before".

Sadly, this kind of event is just a taste of what some people in the world have had to experience and our wealth acts as a cushion against these smaller scale disasters. There is an air unreality about disasters unless they actually happen to you. If they help us understand our place within the Earth's eco-system then some good can come out of these tragic events.

1 comment:

Jo Anglezarke said...

It shows the absolute delay in response from the government re flooding. Still new developments are being built which puts the residents at an unreasonable level of risk of flooding. Also rules such as the ban on letting people convert their front lawns into paving is also too late. Only now are flood defences being built and this looks at cure rather than preventing climate change.

How can anyone deny climate change with such proof on the news each and every week?