Red Dust from Desert Blankets Sydney

22 09 2009

The dust blanketing eastern parts of New South Wales has been carried by powerful winds that snatched up tons of topsoil from the drought-ravaged west of the state.

Dust storms swept over Sydney Wednesday morning, turning the city sky so red, some residents thought they’d left the blue planet.

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Residents of eastern Australia have had to battle these bizarre conditions, because strong winds from the dry interior swept up dust and brought it gusting into the city.

In other areas of southern Australia like Broken Hill — well inland in western New South Wales — the storms have been even more intense. Dust storms have occasionally blacked out the sky.

Stunning photos have been posted to this Flickr gallery.

Sources: Wired.com, news.bbc.co.uk

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2 responses

23 09 2009
迷你倉

The worst dust storm in decades swept across eastern Australia on Wednesday, blanketing Sydney and snarling transport as freak conditions also brought earthquakes, giant hailstones and even a tornado.

Gale-force winds dumped thousands of tonnes of red desert dust on Australia’s biggest city, shrouding it in an eerie orange haze and coating the iconic Sydney Opera House in a fine layer of powder.

The storm, reportedly the most serious since the 1940s, then spread 600 kilometers up the coast to Queensland and could even hit New Zealand, some 4,000km away, experts said.

Dust covered most of New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, pushing air pollution to record levels and depositing about 75,000 tonnes of powder in the Tasman Sea every hour.

”Dust storms like this occur quite regularly but they rarely travel this far east and come through Sydney,” said John Leys, principal research scientist with New South Wales’ Department of Climate Change and Water.

Sydney residents wore face masks and covered their mouths with scarves as they traveled to work under hazy skies. Traffic was bumper-to-bumper on major highways.

Air transport was severely disrupted with passengers facing long delays at Sydney airport and many international flights diverted to Melbourne and Brisbane.

Australia, in the grip of a decade-long drought, is emerging from an abnormally hot southern hemisphere winter including the hottest August on record.

Elsewhere in New South Wales, hail stones “the size of cricket balls” smashed windows as thunderstorms and gale-force winds lashed the state late on Tuesday.

”We’ve had reports of cars with both their front and rear windscreens smashed,” an official from the State Emergency Service said.

Further north, Queensland imposed a ban on lighting fires across large parts of the state a day after a dozen bush blazes sprang up following a spell of hot, dry weather.

Victoria state was on alert for flash floods as heavy rains fell, following a pair of minor earthquakes on Tuesday. The 3.0- and 2.6-magnitude tremors did not cause any damage, officials said.

Police in southwestern New South Wales, bordering Victoria, reported bizarre conditions on Tuesday as dark red skies thick with dust cut visibility to just two to three meters in some areas.

荔枝角卓越迷你倉
香港仔時昌迷你倉

2 01 2010
Annette Piper

This was a shocker. I recall waking up and thinking someone had started a war and this was the result. Very scary until I found out it was dust.

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