In Tongues of Flame

Darkness at Midday. The fire a wall of black and orange surf, roaring "like bombs going off." Heat so intense it melts roads and twists steel. Showers of red-hot cinders; zooming balls of flame. Trees exploding, animals colliding in panic, birds ablaze in mid-flight. Trapped people going mad and running directly into the flames, or jumping into water tanks to be boiled to death. And afterward, dead sheep in black piles. Morticians sawing off limbs to get contorted bodies into coffins. Survivors returning to smoldering ruins, refugees in their own suburb. The miracles—a baby pulled from under her sister's body. The...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!