Tag Archives: News

More Smoke in Canberra

Yesterday Canberra had its hottest day on record. And now, mid-morning, the bushfire smoke is worse than it has been since the 2003 firestorm.

Canberra Australia Bushfire Smoke 5th January 2019 Sonya Heaney Nature Natural Disaster 1

Canberra Australia Bushfire Smoke 5th January 2019 Sonya Heaney Nature Natural Disaster 2

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Oh, Victoria …

I spent the days before Christmas, and up until the end of the year, in Smoko, near Bright in the Victorian Alps. We were half-joking that we’d better be ready to go in case there was a bushfire, but now it’s at “too late to leave” level.

I’m horrified. Here’s a shot from the day I arrived at the property just over a week ago, and then there is tiny, one-street Smoko is on the national news:

Smoko Victoria Sonya Heaney December 2019

Smoko Victoria Sonya Heaney Too Late to Leave Bushfires 4th January 2020

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Canberra: Before and After the Smoke Disaster

Canberra now officially has the worst air quality in the world – thanks to the bushfires surrounding us. It’s by far the worst in the south of the city, and that’s where I am.

Here are before and after photos, and then proof of how bad it is here:

Walk to the shops Tuggernanong Valley Brindabella Range Canberra Australia Winter Sunshine Blue Sky Sonya Heaney 21st July 2019 Sunny Warm Afternoon

Severe world-record bushfire smoke Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney Tuggeranong 2nd January 2020

1st January 2020 Canberra Worst Air Quality in the world Bushfires.

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Bushfires Everywhere

The Canberra region has a number of out of control bushfires tonight. The air filled with smoke at sunset, and when I looked outside the entire valley was inundated.

Out of Control Bushfire Canberra Region 28th November 2019 NSW

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Oh, Sri Lanka…

Sri Lankan military officials stand guard in front of the St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo

I’ve lost count of how many Sri Lankan stamps I have in my passports, but there are MANY. I used to stay there before and after every trip I made to India to visit my parents (they used to live there).

Sri Lankans are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Even when the civil war was still on, and there were sandbags and machine guns everywhere, and the airport staff raided your suitcases before they even let you into the building, they were always so nice about it.

I always tell this story, but one time I checked into a resort in Negombo (where over a hundred people were killed in the terror attacks), the elderly gardener saw me carrying a tiny bag up to my room, and came running to help.

I thought he’d want a tip, but by the time I’d got into my room, and turned around to tip him, he was long gone. He literally just wanted to help me. In the hotel world, this is not a normal experience…

Sri Lankans are just like this. Amazing people.

I am so upset about these attacks, and I’m so upset they won’t matter much according to the world’s news.

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Notre Dame…

I’m sure everyone has seen the footage of Notre Dame in Paris on fire.

I have spent a lot of time in Paris – much of that time on my own. I used to walk to Notre Dame on many days, and simply sit in the cathedral for a while, occasionally attending a service, even though I’m not religious.

I thought it was terrible when far-right “activists” would go in there and shoot themselves at the altar to protest abortion or whatever. I thought that was as bad as it would get.

There was scaffolding on the part of the building that caught fire. Restoration work is so, so dangerous for historic buildings. Something very similar happened in Belfast when I was there last year.

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Death in Australia?

So, this afternoon the flags in Canberra – at Parliament House and The Lodge, and probably everywhere else – were put at half-mast. Why? For Australian journalist Mike Willesee?

Canberra Australia Flag Half-Mast Parliament House Sonya Heaney 1st March 2019

Canberra Australia Flag Half-Mast The Lodge Sonya Heaney 1st March 2019

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