Sydney residents have woken to another day of thick smoke haze, with little hope for any end in sight.
Authorities are warning poor air quality conditions will continue throughout the day and into the weekend.
Sydney ( (listen) SID-nee) is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia’s east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as “Sydneysiders”. As of June 2017, Sydney’s estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state’s population.Indigenous Australians have inhabited the Sydney area for at least 30,000 years, and thousands of engravings remain throughout the region, making it one of the richest in Australia in terms of Aboriginal archaeological sites. During his first Pacific voyage in 1770, Lieutenant James Cook and his crew became the first Europeans to chart the eastern coast of Australia, making landfall at Botany Bay and inspiring British interest in the area. In 1788, the First Fleet of convicts, led by Arthur Phillip, founded Sydney as a British penal colony, the first European settlement in Australia. Phillip named the city Sydney in recognition of Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney. Penal transportation to New South Wales ended soon after Sydney was incorporated as a city in 1842. A gold rush occurred in the colony in 1851, and over the next century, Sydney transformed from a colonial outpost into a major global cultural and economic centre. After World War II, it experienced mass migration and became one of the most multicultural cities in the world. At the time of the 2011 census, more than 250 different languages were spoken in Sydney. In the 2016 Census, about 35.8% of residents spoke a language other than English at home. Furthermore, 45.4% of the population reported having been born overseas, making Sydney the third largest foreign born population of any city in the world after London and New York City, respectively.Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, Sydney frequently ranks in the top ten of lists of the most livable cities in the world. It is classified as an Alpha+ World City by Globalization and World Cities Research Network, indicating its influence in the region and throughout the world. Ranked eleventh in the world for economic opportunity, Sydney has an advanced market economy with strengths in finance, manufacturing and tourism. There is a significant concentration of foreign banks and multinational corporations in Sydney and the city is promoted as Australia’s financial capital and one of Asia Pacific’s leading financial hubs. Established in 1850, the University of Sydney is Australia’s first university and is regarded as one of the world’s leading universities. Sydney is also home to the oldest library in Australia, State Library of New South Wales, opened in 1826.Sydney has hosted major international sporting events such as the 2000 Summer Olympics. The city is among the top fifteen most-visited cities in the world, with millions of tourists coming each year to see the city’s landmarks. Boasting over 1,000,000 ha (2,500,000 acres) of nature reserves and parks, its notable natural features include Sydney Harbour, the Royal National Park, Royal Botanic Garden and Hyde Park, the oldest parkland in the country. Built attractions such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House are also well known to international visitors. The main passenger airport serving the metropolitan area is Kingsford-Smith Airport, one of the world’s oldest continually operating airports. Established in 1906, Central station, the largest and busiest railway station in the state, is the main hub of the city’s rail network.
Sydneysiders wake to another smoky day amid health warnings
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Another (novel), a Japanese horror novel and anime series
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Another River, a river in the U.S. state of Alaska
A. N. Other, a pseudonym
LIVE COVERAGE: NSW and Queensland’s bushfire emergency
The air quality index is forecast as hazardous in many areas of Sydney and the surrounds today, with the NSW Environment Department’s website crashing under the strain of people searching for information.
Sydneysiders wake to another smoky day amid health warnings
This morning, the smoke has dissipated a little over the city, however it remains quite thick over Sydney’s eastern and southern suburbs, including Randwick, Camden and Wollongong.
The smoke is being blown from large fires to near Warragamba Dam and the Wollombi National Park, where large blazes are burning out of control.
The air quality across the city is currently one of the worst in the world, with experts urging people to stay indoors.
“Unfortunately this is one of the longest and worst smoky periods that I can ever recall, and it’s having a huge impact on everyone, particularly with people on asthma and but more broadly than that,” CEO of the Asthma Foundation Michelle Goldman told Today.
“The best course of action is to avoid breathing in the smoke, so it’s pretty common sense – stay indoors wherever possible, if you can work from home do so.
“We strongly urge schools to keep kids indoors if conditions are very smoky… try and avoid being exposed to the smoke wherever possible.”
The NSW environment department said this season’s bushfire emergency has caused “some of the highest air pollution ever seen in the state”.
“NSW has experienced elevated levels of pollutants as a result of smoke of the bushfire emergency, and dust caused by the severe drought,” a spokesperson said.
It is the longest and most widespread pollution on record.
“The only way the smoke stops is with rain and a lot of it,” Helen Kirkup from the Bureau of Meteorology said.
“Wherever there’s fire, there’s smoke and wind changes might provide some temporary relief to certain places but that also just fans smoke which can just make things worse.”
Almost the entire coastal area of NSW and much of the state’s northeast have a severe fire danger rating today, as crews battle several mammoth blazes.
Total fire bans are in place for the far South Coast and the Monaro alpine, southern ranges, Illawarra-Shoalhaven, central ranges, Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter, northern slopes and northwestern regions.
There are 97 bushfires burning across the state on this morning and less than half were contained.
More than 2000 firefighters remain in the field battling the blazes.