Sydney (Australia) / Tens of thousands of homes in the Australian city of Melbourne were without power on Friday due to a heatwave that has seen temperatures across the south of the country soar to record-breaking highs.
Power companies said that the scheduled cuts affected around 169,800 customers, while the Australian Energy Market Operator on Friday lowered that figure to some 60,000 households.
“Coordinated supply interruptions are required to maintain electricity supply and protect the power system as Victoria deals with record-breaking high temperatures, high demand and reduced generation availability”, the AEMO said in a statement.
Authorities have implemented safety measures and instructed firefighters to remain on alert due to fears that uncontrollable bushfires could break out in the state of Victoria, whose capital is Melbourne.
Meanwhile, on the southern island of Tasmania, around 500 firefighters were trying to extinguish close to 50 wildfires.
Temperatures reached 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in Melbourne early afternoon on Friday and they could yet rise to 44.
Friday is expected to be one of the hottest days in the state since Black Saturday on Feb. 7, 2009, when temperatures soared to 46.4 degrees Celsius, triggering hundreds of bushfires which destroyed entire towns and burnt almost half million hectares of land, killing 173 people, the country’s highest ever death toll from a wildfire.
On Thursday, in Adelaide, the state capital of South Australia, highs of 47.7 degrees Celsius were recorded, the hottest for a state capital since records began 80 years ago.
In Port Augusta, about 300 kilometers (186 miles) north of Adelaide, the mercury rose to 49.1 degrees, an all-time record for the city which is home to over 14,200 people.
Several other parts of the country have also been affected by the high temperatures, with the northeastern state of Queensland registering temperatures of over 40 degrees for 40 consecutive days on Thursday.
The sweltering conditions have also affected the Australian Open tennis tournament that began last week in Melbourne, forcing the roof of the Rod Laver Arena to be closed during the first of two women’s singles semi-finals on Thursday.
Temperatures are expected to drop drastically on Friday night – by 20 degrees – so there is no risk of the men’s singles semi-final match between Novak Djokovic and Lucas Pouille being suspended, but tournament organizers have cancelled matches and events scheduled to on outdoor courts.
Several parts of Australia have seen heatwaves since the turn of the year, while eastern regions have also been gripped by a drought, causing widespread destruction of crops and deaths of animals. (January 25, 2019, EFE/Practica Español)
News related in video (February 2014):
Lee la noticia y responde a las preguntas. (Read the news and answer the questions.)
una ola de calor está afectando a toda Europa.
está haciendo mucho calor en Australia.
es posible que haya una ola de calor en Australia.
afectó al suministro eléctrico de la ciudad.
ha causado que se consuma más electricidad.
no es la causa de unos apagones en Melbourne.
afectaron a millones de personas.
afectaron a decenas de miles de personas.
no afectaron a nadie.
No se sabe.
ha dejado sin luz a miles de personas.
no es la causa de un apagón.
podría dejar sin luz a millones de personas.
subió el nivel del río Támesis.
bajó el nivel del río Támesis.
se desbordó el río Támesis.
no afectó a la zona sur del Reino Unido.
afectó mucho a la zona sur del Reino Unido.
apenas afectó a la zona sur del Reino Unido.
vuelve a haber luz eléctrica.
no tienes agua.
no hay luz eléctrica.
porque hubo una inundación.
porque ha llovido mucho.
por la falta de lluvia.
a la ciudad.
sube poco a poco.
sube de forma moderada.
no sube despacio y de forma moderada.