Sydney is choking in a devastating smoke that has emitted from New South Wales (NSW) bushfires. However, the extremely poor air quality in the city is easing slightly.
Some parts of the city had an air quality reading of 2552, which is nearly 13 times higher than the “hazardous air quality” threshold of 200. But air quality on the east side of the city was 1624 from 11 am to midday.
In the north-west of the city, average air quality was recorded at 1861, with the highest of 2204 in St Marys and the south-west, Liverpool, at 1561.
The west side of the city had a higher reading earlier in the morning, with Oakdale air quality level at 1114 and Prospect at 2270.
According to the NSW Rural Fire Service, the smoke has been pushed “towards the coast by westerly winds, from bushfires burning outside of Sydney.”
The smoke is expected to hang around for the day, said the Bureau of Meteorology. However, a southerly change is expected to ease smoke levels by afternoon, improving the air quality a bit.
The air quality level in Parramatta North was recorded at 1722.
Sydney smoke has disrupted public transport, with ferry services being canceled. Sydney Ferries tweeted, “Buses are now replacing F1 Manly services. There are no replacement buses on other routes, delay your journeys.”
Many social media users took to Twitter to express their concerns and shared images and videos of the smoke. Some have even stated that the smoke was so much that it entered their office building and set off smoke alarms.
The haze and smoke may cause respiratory problems in people who suffer from lung or heart conditions. Health officials have urged people to stay indoors and avoid exercise outdoors. Dr. Richard Broome, Director of the NSW Health Environmental Health, said, “Tuesday would be very hot and very smoky.”