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Bushfires: Sydney’s air 12 times worse than ‘hazardous’ level

Due to bushfires in Australia, Sydney has been covered with a thick layer of billowing smoke due to which the air quality has worsened which is putated to be 12 times worse than ‘hazardous levels’,  forcing firefighters to work in high temperatures and heavy winds.

The ramifications were felt across in all quarters, fire alarms sounding sporadically as buildings were evacuated, sound of fog horns filling the air in the nearby harbor due to low visibility, schoolchildren wearing facemasks as Sydney’s landmarks became obscure.

As the famed Opera house, Harbour Bridge and Bondi Beach were enshrouded with thick smoke, there was palpable consternation in the minds of the citizens who would otherwise be jaunty at this time of the year.

Undeterred by the thick smoke, a cricket match between New South Wales and Queensland ensued while a footage of the former Australian test player Steve O’Keefe bowling in almost hazy darkness was seen disconcertedly by many.

Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher who was in Sydney as part of a tour, took to Twitter to express the general feeling of malaise.

The city saw a spike in the number of people reporting respiratory related ailments and the health department has issued a warning for people to stay indoors.

The state’s director of environmental health, Dr. Richard Broome, has said that he was aware of the 2009 dust storm in the country however this episode has far surpassed the others in intensity.

Roger Mentha, assistant commissioner of the NSW Fire and Rescue, has warned people not to rely on the automatic fire alarms as the smoke that has enveloped the city is setting off alarms everywhere.

He also told reporters that the amount of calls reaches its peak between 11 AM and 12 PM and they have also seen over 335 triple-zero emergency calls.

Fires have been raging on for almost a month throughout the eastern states with no respite in sight.

The ramifications of this bushfire have been extensive which has rendered 7 people dead, 700 people homeless and has destroyed an area equivalent to 2.7 hectares. Many cities run the risk of running out of water by January provided they don’t experience normal summer rains.

Shane Fitzsimmons, commissioner of the RFS, has billed Tuesday as the lethal day as the mercury soared to 40 degree Celsius coupled with hot gusty winds.

Firefighting crews in Victoria and Queensland are racing against time to tackle the fires even when a conflagration in the central coast was upgraded to an emergency, as the region was 67,000 hectares.

The fire at Gospers Mountain has already decimated 319,000 hectares by conflating with other fires at other locations, empowering it to cause more destruction.

Greg Mullins, the state’s former fire chief, has warned that the firefighters, men and women who give their all, may not have much tricks left in their repertoire to assuage the fires that are raging and hence seeks solace with the only hope that’s left; rains.

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