Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Sydney turns red: dust storm blankets city

This looks kind of surreal...

The dusty blanket that wrapped itself around Sydney this morning pushed air pollution levels to 1500 times their normal levels - the highest on record, a climate scientist says.#

Dr John Leys, principal research scientist with the NSW Department of Climate Change and Water, said initial estimates showed the dust plume stretched 600 kilometres along the NSW coast from Sydney to the Queensland border this morning, dumping up to 75,000 tonnes of dust per hour into the Tasman Sea.

Harbour Bridge this morning

The view of Sydney city from Macquarie Street as a blanket of dust covering the city of Sydney from a dust storm.

Red dust on a car

People exercising at Coogee Beach

Sydneysiders have woken to a red haze unlike anything seen before by residents or weather experts, as the sun struggles to pierce a thick blanket of dust cloaking the city this morning.
Callers flooded talkback radio, others hit social networking sites and scores of emails were received from readers as Sydney residents expressed their amazement at this morning's conditions.
"It's just red, red, red as far as you can see," one caller at the Anzac Bridge told 2GB.

The dust has caused havoc with the city's transport system this morning, with visibility on the roads reduced to just a few hundred metres in some places.

Health problems

Emergency services had also been stretched by the conditions.
The Ambulance Service said it had experienced an increase in calls from asthma sufferers as a result of the dust haze this morning. Some were taken to hospital, a spokeswoman said.

Read the full article here.

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