Dust storm engulfs Sydney, Australia in red

September 23, 2009

(ChattahBox) — A huge outback dust storm the worst in 70 years swept across eastern Australia today, leaving most of New South Wales, including major city Sydney (think San Francisco for those that haven’t been their) blanketed in a thick red cloud of dust.

The Sydney Morning Herald’s photo gallery here, reports the storm stretched 600 km (370 miles) along the coast of New South Wales Wednesday and dumped 75,000 tons of dust per hour into the Tasman Sea. On Sydney harbour, the thick red air cut visibility to less than 100 meters, flights at Sydney and Brisbane airports were delayed, building sites shut down, and emergency departments were flooded with calls.

The bureau of meteorology said it was the worst dust storm since the 1940s, with particle pollution up to 10 times worse than the previous record. Dust storms are common in inland Australia, but they rarely make it out to the coast. But the continent is suffering from one of the worst droughts on record, as an El Nino is slowly developing in the Pacific which will mean drier conditions for eastern states. Some areas of the country have been bombarded by hailstones while others have been baking in a mini-heatwave in early spring.  And according to some scientists, Australia could expect the problem to continue given the changing climate. Australia is also the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter per capita as it relies on coal-fired power stations for the bulk of its electricity.

Photo: Channel4.com


3 Responses to “Dust storm engulfs Sydney, Australia in red”

  1. stan on September 23rd, 2009 9:45 am

    in the meantime ….. gay storm turns san fransisco pink

  2. Chris R on September 23rd, 2009 1:53 pm

    What the heck is it? Why is it orange? It really does look like the Apocalypse.

  3. travelers community on September 24th, 2009 4:16 am

    The blood-red skies means nothing. There’s no need to regard them as anything but normal.

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