Nature is the strongest force; We can not tame it.

Essay by jessca_cHigh School, 10th gradeA+, July 2002

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Over time nature has caused damage and destruction in many ways. These include storms, tornadoes, cyclones, floods, bush fires, earthquakes, droughts, landslides, blizzards, etc, etc. Most of these cause immense damage which we, as humans, are unable to hinder. As a result, many people usually lose valuable possessions and, sometimes, loved ones during these times.

Many communities were devastated by events like these over the past couple of months. The three events that were most disastrous were the "Black Christmas" bush fires, the recent torrential rains in the Sydney and Illawarra regions, and Cyclone Chris, which swept through the northwest of Western Australia. All three of these major events caused extensive damage and economic instability, which these regions are not expected to recover from quickly.

On Christmas Eve 2001, a large lightning storm took place over the East Coast of New South Wales. This caused the bush fires we know as "Black Christmas" to eventuate.

These bush fires were the largest since 1994, when most of the Royal National Park was wiped out. The "Black Christmas" bush fires claimed many homes in their path as they raced out of control towards communities in the Illawarra region, Sydney areas and on the South Coast. Many people were forced to leave their homes and possessions as they rushed to safety. Many of these people lost contact with their loved ones during the rush and were unable to find them until well after the bush fires had been extinguished. Many hospitals and nursing homes were evacuated as the flames came rushing towards them. Some towns only being evacuated only an hour before flames were threatening their homes. Throughout the time the fires raged, winds speeds soared and wind directions changed, making it near to impossible for the fire crews to fight the fires.