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Sweltering heat sends 26 marathon runners to hospital in Australia

A sweltering heatwave in Australia affected runners at the Sydney Marathon on Sunday (17), with 26 people taken to hospital and 40 treated for exhaustion by emergency services.

Parts of southeastern Australia, including Sydney, are experiencing a spring heatwave, the national meteorological department said, with temperatures expected to reach up to 16 degrees Celsius above average of September.

The growing heat wave has been accumulating in the interior of the country over the weekend and is expected to last until Wednesday (20) in the states of South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.

The Bureau of Meteorology said it expected several early spring records to be broken in the coming days, calling the heat “very unusual for September.”

“A reprieve from the heat is not expected until Wednesday onwards as a stronger cold front moves through the southeastern states,” the weather agency said in a Facebook post.

On Thursday (21), temperatures are expected to rise from 30 °C to 22 °C, according to the Department of Meteorology.

The heatwave has also raised fire risks, with several regions receiving “elevated” fire danger ratings and authorities urging residents to prepare for wildfires.

About 50 bush or grass fires are burning in New South Wales, but all have been brought under control.

Australia is bracing for a warmer spring and summer in the Southern Hemisphere this year after the possibility of an El Niño strengthens, with climate forecasters saying the weather event could likely develop between September and November.

El Niño could trigger extreme weather events from bushfires to cyclones and droughts in Australia, with authorities warning of increased bushfire risks this summer.

A thick smoke haze enveloped Sydney for several days last week as firefighters carried out risk reduction burns to prepare for the impending bushfire season.

Australia’s hot springs follow a winter with temperatures well above average.

Scientists warn that extreme weather events like heat waves will only become more common and intense unless the world stops burning planet-warming fossil fuels.

See also – Sweltering heat acts like a pan lid trapping heat, meteorologist tells CNN

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*With information from Reuters

Source: CNN Brasil

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