Australia sizzles as heatwave takes hold (Photos)

Australia sizzles as heatwave takes hold (Photos)

Australia sizzles as heatwave takes hold (Photos)

Written by Kumudu Jayawardana

15 Jan, 2014 | 1:52 pm

South-east Australia has been hit with extreme hot weather, with temperatures of over 40C in some areas, and several bushfire warnings in place.

In Victoria state, lightning strikes sparked more than 250 fires on Tuesday night, fire authorities said. A fire ban has been issued across the state.

In Melbourne, a tennis player and a ball boy at the Australian Open collapsed in the heat.

Temperatures in the city remained above 30C for much of Tuesday night.

Country Fire Authority Chief Officer Euan Ferguson said in a statement: “The extreme temperatures [in Victoria] over the coming three days will test fire services and the community… it’s critical we minimise the risk of any fires before Friday.”

Meanwhile Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, experienced its fourth hottest day on record, reaching 45.1C.

Over 14,000 properties have experienced power outages, with many thought to be caused by thunderstorms and lightning strikes, ABC reported.

In Tasmania, there were reports of road tar melting in the heat.

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