Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Sydney dust storm worst in 70 years

A DUST storm that has blanketed Sydney in an eerie red haze is the worst in at least 70 years, if not the history of the state, the Bureau of Meterology says.

The dust cloud covers almost the whole of NSW, after an extreme low pressure system moved across the state from central Australia and western NSW.

The dust caused commuter chaos, the cancellation of flights from Sydney Airport, the closure of the M5 tunnel and the suspension of Sydney ferries.

People with respiratory illnesses were told to stay indoors and health authorities advised people to avoid exercise until the dust cleared.

The Bureau of Meteorology's Regional Director for New South Wales Barry Hanstrum said visibility at Sydney Airport had dropped as low as 400m.

“An event like this is extremely rare,” Mr Hanstrum said. “It's one of the worst, if not the worst.”

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds in Sydney with a gale warning issued for Sydney closed waters.

Wild winds are lashing the Hunter region and gale force winds of up to 100km/h are expected to hit Sydney.

Mr Hanstrum said hail stones reportedly as big as cricket balls hit the town of Crookwell near Goulburn last night.

In the state's west visibility was reduced to just 10 metres in Broken Hill.

A Sydney Airport spokesman said a combination of strong cross winds and low visibility would lead to flight delays throughout the day.

“We're operating in low visibility conditions due to strong winds and dust haze,” he said.

“Departure and arrivals delays will be experienced at both Sydney and domestic and international airports.

Sydney icons such as the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House took on a ghostly appearance.

Armed with his camera at Circular Quay, Manly resident Alec Wagstaff, who was forced to catch the bus to the city after the ferries cancelled, said he relished the chance to photograph the tourist attractions in a different light.

“I woke up and there was this unbelievable golden hue,” Mr Wagstaff said.

“It is really interesting light, it's going to be quite a challenge.”

“I haven't seen this since Adelaide 30 to 40 years ago.”

Police urged motorists drive with caution reporting heavy traffic and low visibility.

City-bound lanes of the M5 tunnel are still closed and the Roads and Traffic Authority is advising drivers to use King Georges Road.

The State Emergency Services have received almost 200 requests for assistance across the state.

The dusty conditions are expected to last throughout the morning.

Article from: The Australian


நாகு (Nagu) said...

ராஜஸ்தானில் மண்புயல் வந்து எல்லா இடங்களிலும் மண்ணைக் கொட்டும் ஞாபகம் வந்தது. நீங்கள் நலம்தானே?

கானா பிரபா said...

வணக்கம் நாகு

இன்று காலை வேலைக்கு வரும் போது பீதியுடன் வரவேண்டி இருந்தது, வேலையில் இருக்கும் போதும் மூச்சு முட்டுவது போல பிரமை, ஆனால் இப்போது கொஞ்சம் கொஞ்சமாக இது தணிந்து விட்டது. ஆனால் நிச்சயம் உயிரிழப்புக்கள் நேர்ந்திருக்கலாம் என்று அஞ்சுகிறேன். ஏனெனில் வயதானவர்கள் மிகவும் கஷ்டப்பட்டிருப்பார்கள்

வடுவூர் குமார் said...

A sign of Climate Change?

கானா பிரபா said...

வணக்கம் குமார்

பார்க்கும் போது அப்படித்தான் தோன்றியது