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Image / Editorial

Extreme heatwave hits Australia with temperatures of 49 degrees


By Edaein OConnell
24th Jan 2019
Extreme heatwave hits Australia with temperatures of 49 degrees

Temperatures in Australia have broken previous records with temperatures of 49 degrees recorded in the southern half of the country. This is the second heatwave to hit the region in a number of weeks.

A temperature of 49.1 degrees was recorded north of Adelaide, while temperatures inside the city hit 46.6 degrees. This is the hottest temperature recording in any Australian state capital city since records began over 80 years ago. Temperatures in the city hit 45 degrees last week, which sent homeless shelters into a “code red” alert.

The state’s health authority announced that 44 people had received treatment for heat-related illnesses in a 24 hour period. They advised people to pay special attention to those especially vulnerable in the heat tweeting: “Check on your elderly family, friends and neighbours to make sure they are ok”

Animals in the country have also been suffering from extreme heat, with bats falling from trees in parks. Authorities have advised the public to avoid contact with the heat-stressed bats as they are carriers of serious diseases. An emergency animal cull also took place in southern and western Australia, where local authorities had to shoot 2,500 camels who were dying of thirst. Last week, over a million fish were found dead along a riverbank in eastern Australia where drought has ravaged the area, with more found dead on Monday in New South Wales.

The rising temperatures have put pressure on public services, with SunCity buses terminating services, forcing many to search for alternate transport. A total fire ban has been put in place in the state of Tanzania where emergency services are already fighting wildfires.

While many flocked to the beaches of the southern coast, many more took shelter in shopping centres and bars. One particular publican in the Red Lion Bar in Adelaide gave a free beer to each customer once the mercury remained over 45 degrees. There was a line of over 100 people within an hour.

Related: UN report reveals that climate change effects are much worse than we thought