Sydneysiders have suffered through some of the worst air quality ever recorded for the city after smoke from bushfires once again choked the city with the air in some parts becoming extremely hazardous.
Health authorities say this ongoing pollution is unprecedented and poses a serious risk to people’s health.
Dangerous smoke is choking almost all areas around Greater Sydney.
In some areas the air quality index (AQI) reached 12 times hazardous levels on Tuesday.
Meanwhile officials say ‘Sydney is experiencing some of the worst air quality ever seen’, urging people to take the situation very seriously. Even to those wearing masks.
Bad Air Quality In Sydney
The worst air quality reading was in Rozelle on Tuesday afternoon (AQI of 2,552).
However, the smoke seems to be clearing with AQI numbers across Sydney dropping. Rozelle’s rating was later recorded to be 473.
Any region with an AQI over 200 is considered “hazardous.”
The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting the smoke to linger all week.
On Tuesday, all ferry services had resumed after being cancelled for most of the day due to the thick smoke.
Moreover, numerous buildings across Sydney were evacuated because of smoke alarms.
Worst Smoke in Sydney Ever
While smoke has been near-permanent fixture in Sydney this bushfire season, people took to social media on Tuesday to lament the “worst” air quality they had seen.
“Woke up [Tuesday] morning to the worst smoke haze I have ever seen in our local area,” Samantha Waterfield in Belmont North said.
“Definitely the worst the conditions on the Northern Beaches have been. I’ve had no voice for three days from the smoke, I can’t imagine how people living closer are coping,” Kelly Owens said on Twitter.
Parts of the state’s Central Tablelands, north west, Hunter, Illawarra and south west regions are also experiencing dangerous levels of smoke.
Fires in NSW, Australia
A southerly change brought cooler conditions to firegrounds in NSW on Tuesday afternoon, with temperatures dropping as much as 10°C in a matter of minutes, but it has also brought increased winds.
NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said it would be a “very complex, very difficult day.“
At 6am on Sunday there were 96 bush and grass fires in NSW – 47 of which were not contained. Five fires are at a watch and act level.
There were almost 90 fires burning across NSW on Monday evening with 39 of those out of control. The RFS is forecasting a ‘severe’ fire danger for Greater Sydney, Illawarra-Shoalhaven, the Greater Hunter, the ACT and the southern and central ranges on Tuesday.
How To Battle The Airpocalypse in Sydney, Australia?
Stay indoors and limit your exposure.
P2 or N95 face masks are in theory effective against smoke, but there is evidence that in order for them to work, you have to have a really good fit and it is quite hard for people to achieve that in practice. So be carefull.
But while that might work for a day or two, what happens when those fires, this smoke and the bad air quality become the new normal? [ABC]