As January draws to a close we reflect on what has happened in the past 31 days. And let’s be honest, it’s not been a great start to the year. 

The Australian bushfires are the worst they have been in decades. More than 18.6 million hectares have been burned so far, one hectare being the average size of a sports field. So far 34 people have been killed, including 4 firefighters who were desperately trying to put out the raging fires. One area which has been affected is Kangaroo Island which is home to a unique mix of animal species. On January 9th 25000 koalas, tens of thousands of farm animals and 2 people were killed on the island in Southern Australia. It has been questioned as to what the cause of these dreadful fires is but it has been said it is down to climate change, record-breaking heat, drought, lightning strikes, positive Indian Ocean Dipole, alleged arson or it could have been an accident.

There has also been the outbreak of the coronavirus this month in Wuhan, China. It has killed over 130 people so far and a few cases have been found in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Macao, Hong Kong, France, the UK and the United States. On January 26th NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi were tragically killed in a helicopter crash along with several others whilst they were on their way to Camarillo, California. The Iran-US conflict also began this month when Qassem Soleimani was killed on the 3rd of January near Baghdad International Airport. There was also the Ukranian plane crash in which the 176 onboard lost their lives on a flight from Tehran to Kyiv when it was shot down. The Taal Eruption in a popular tourist attraction in the Philippines began on January 12th and affected thousands of families as well as killing many animals.

Several positive things have happened this month amongst the bad and the only thing we can do is hope that February will be more successful.

Emma Knight