Sydney breaks heat record, 46 degrees
Saturday, 19 January 2013

SYDNEY endured its hottest ever day on Friday, with records smashed across the city and thousands of people suffering from the heat.

The mercury topped 45.8 at Sydney's Observatory Hill at 2.55pm, breaking the previous record set in 1939 by half a degree. The city's highest temperature was a scorching 46.5 degrees, recorded in Penrith at 2.15pm, while Camden, Richmond and Sydney Airport all reached 46.4 degrees.

More than 220 people had been treated for heat exposure or fainting by late afternoon, the Ambulance Service of NSW said.

The heatwave also stranded thousands of commuters, with dozens of trains delayed as steel wires buckled and a hose used to run a key signalling system melted. On the central coast, the heat caused an overhead wire to buckle onto a train at about 1.30pm, trapping about 250 passengers for half an hour.

The monorail ground to a halt, spitting sparks that started a soon-extinguished grass fire next to Darling Harbour.

More serious fires raged across NSW and Victoria, including about a dozen blazes that burned out of control in coastal regions of NSW from the Hunter Valley to the south coast.


 

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