Sydney is Australia records AQI 12 times the hazardous level, health warnings issued

December 12, 2019 5:48 PM |

When we think about air pollution, Delhi is the first city that comes in our mind. But this piece has to be about Sydney which on Tuesday, witnessed air pollution about 12 times the 'hazardous' level.

The Air Quality Index compiled by the state environment department reached as high as 2,552 in some eastern suburbs, soaring past the “hazardous” threshold of 200.

The pollution had to do with the smoke blowing all the way over Sydney from the recent Australia bushfires. The pollution was so severe that it set off fire alarms all over the city. Ferry services had to be suspended altogether. So much so that the Sydney Opera House and harbour bridge were completely covered in the thick haze and hardly visible. Flight arrivals at Sydney Airport were delayed by up to 30 minutes due to poor visibility.

Locals found it difficult to breathe because of the smoke and many complained of stinging eyes. Health warnings were issued soon after. According to the available data, the number of people seeking treatment at Sydney hospitals increased by about 25% in just a day.

Authorities warned people with respiratory conditions, or heart and lung problems, to stay indoors. Office workers were seen wearing face masks in the street, an unusual sight in a city more used to clear blue skies and clean air.

Some 2.7 million hectares of land, with a perimeter of 19,235 kilometres, have been burnt so far this bushfire season in Australia.

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