Is not exactly a significant number. 131 dollars. 131 meters. 131 calories.
Its not really that big a number. Until today. 131 lives lost. The devastation I cannot put into words.
I first found out that there were fatalities through a friends facebook page. She's a firefighter out near Marysville. 26 was the number then. That was awful enough. But every time I checked, that figure changed.
Another friend - my best friends brother - updated his facebook - his family live in the middle of that area. My family friends, who I loved. I contacted my bestie, but no response.
36, then 46.
He updated a few hours later to say that they were safe in Melbourne. I breathed a sigh of relief
Someone rang and told me 66, I couldn't believe that. Later that night the toll rose to 76, then a few minutes later the news read 84. I began to clean, even though it was 11.30 at night.
How could it get worse? Easily.
This morning it was 108.
My friend rang me back today. Her family is safe and well. Their property was safe. The only thing that happened to them was the loss of her sister and brother in law's business in Marysville. I'm not really surprised, the whole town was wiped out.
I began to breathe, to hope, when the number stayed steady. But it has gone up again. Now its 131.
Some of the stories I've heard in the past two days
Horse saves farmer from blaze
Teen saves family on a tractor
When Hell came to Kinglake
They expect the toll to rise above 200.
I have no words.