Sydney records worse air quality than Kathmandu

  • November 19, 2019

A still image taken from a social media video shows haze blanketing Manly Beach in Sydney, Australia November 19, 2019. SYDNEY COACHES via REUTERS

Sydney’s air quality on Tuesday is among the poorest in the world – several areas of the city surpassing other major cities which are notorious for their air quality including Kathmandu, Beijing, New Delhi, and Bangkok. The air quality of Sydney suburbs of Rose Hill and Prospect were averaging around 744 and 510 respectively at midday local time. Kathmandu’s Ratnapark read 179 at 10 a.m.

Residents of Sydney, on Tuesday morning, woke to a thick, blanketing haze as smoke from bushfires raging across the State of New South Wales (NSW) drifted in and settled over the city. The conditions pushed Sydney’s air quality beyond what is considered “hazardous,” with parts of the city averaging more than seven times the national standard.

The haze, now abating, has left the air quality in Sydney this morning as the 14th worst in the world on the World Air Quality Index.

Residents were advised not to exercise outdoors, and those with conditions such as asthma, emphysema and angina to avoid being outdoors altogether.

Meanwhile, bushfires are continuing. As of Tuesday morning there were 48 fires burning across the State of New South Wales, with 23 of them uncontained, according to the NSW Rural Fire Service.

Authorities turned their attention to heatwave conditions forecast for parts of the state over coming days, likely to hamper firefighters’ efforts to stop active blazes from spreading.