Bushfire smoke blankets Sydney and makes air hazardous

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Powerful winds fanned the smoke from fires that have been burning across New South Wales and Queensland states for several days, and pushed smoke south to form a thick haze over Sydney, home to around 5 million people.

People in Sydney woke up to a city shrouded in smoke on Tuesday, as scores of bushfires rage across the region. Strong winds overnight brought smoke from around 130 fires inland, pushing the air quality in Australia’s largest city to beyond “hazardous” levels at times.

Officials said the air quality above parts of the harbour city was measured at 10 times hazardous levels on Tuesday and advised people to stay indoors as much as possible as the smoke lingers over coming days.

“We know that heatwaves cause severe illness, hospital admission and even deaths, and that people are more sensitive to heatwaves early in the season,” Richard Broom, director of environmental health at NSW Health said In an emailed statement.

“The combination of heat and poor air quality adds to the risk.”

Via BBC / Reuters 

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