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Monday, January 27, 2014

Australian Heatwave: The Aftermath

The recent heatwave in Southeast Australia grabbed many a headline in media outlines around the world. There were plenty of stories to tell: electricity outages, broken trains, stranded commuters, not to mention the disruption of matches at the Australian Open. Once things cooled off, however, the media moved on to sexier material. But a week or so later, we're now getting a proper understanding of the real consequences. As reported today in The Age, The Victorian Institute for Forensic Medicine has estimated 139 excess deaths from January 13 to January 23 compared to what would have been expected for that time period. Given the losses experienced in the days leading up to Black Saturday in 2009 are still fresh in everyone's mind, some are now asking why greater efforts haven't been made to prepare for such events and protect the most vulnerable.

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