Volcanic eruption leaves ‘entire population’ of Saint Vincent without clean water

More than a year after the bushfires, many Australians still aren’t okay.

It was a pivotal moment in Australia’s history. The Black Summer bushfires which burned through some 13 million hectares of NSW and the ACT, destroying lives and homes in their wake. And while the fires are out, the invisible fires still burn.

“That ongoing level of panic, of existing in ‘fight or flight’ mode for days and weeks, has a huge impact on our mental health, leading to increased levels of chronic stress and anxiety.”

The human impact of this catastrophic natural disaster is still being felt by many communities one year on. The Lifeline Australia Dedicated Bushfire Recovery Helpline still receives over 400 calls per day, illustrating the ongoing mental health battle many Aussies are facing to curb the invisible fires that still rage inside them.

This continued need for support has led NRMA Insurance to partner with Lifeline Australia and Australian musical royalty Julia Stone, to try and put into words the lasting consequences of Black Summer.

Stone’s bush poem, ‘Next To Me’ sheds light on the ongoing mental health trauma experienced by people impacted by the Black Summer bushfires and aims to reassure those who are struggling that help is still available. The poem is personal for Stone, who volunteers as a trained mental health counsellor…

Volcanic eruption leaves ‘entire population’ of Saint Vincent without clean water

Navin Pato Patterson
Plumes of ash billow from the La Soufrière volcano on the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines which started erupting on 9th April.

Citing reports from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Stéphane Dujarric added that about 20,000 evacuees on the Caribbean island are currently in need of shelter.

“The eruption has affected most livelihoods in the northern part of the island, including banana farming, with ash and lava flows hampering the movement of people and goods”, he told journalists at the daily news briefing.

Although the volcano had been dormant since 1979, it started spewing smoke and actively rumbling in December.

La Soufrière erupted last Friday, blanketing Saint Vincent in a layer of ash and forcing some 16,000 residents to evacuate their homes to cruise ships and safer parts of the island…

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