Australia authorities have declared a state of emergency in New South Wales, over a record-breaking heatwave and the state’s bushfire crisis.
Prime minister Gladys Berejiklian on Thursday announced a seven-day state of emergency due to forecasts of worsening conditions.
“The biggest concern over the next few days is the unpredictability, with extreme wind conditions [and] extremely hot temperatures,” she told reporters.
Australia’s bushfire crisis and a severe, long-running drought have spurred criticism of the nation’s climate policies.
Heatwaves are Australia’s deadliest natural disaster and have killed thousands more people than bush fires or floods.
The previous temperature record – an average maximum of 40.3C – was set in 2013. the nation experienced its hottest day on record on Tuesday – an average maximum of 40.9C (105.6F).
Authorities in New South Wales (NSW) are currently fighting about 100 fires, in a crisis that has lasted months. Parts of NSW, of which Sydney is the capital, are forecast to hit temperatures in the mid-40s today.