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‘Code red’: Heatwave warnings for four states

Severe weather update

Source: BOM

Australia’s south-east is in the clutches of a severe heatwave disrupting a slew of events across a trio of states.

The South Australian government will activate a Code Red response from 5pm on Friday, with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting temperatures of more than 40 degrees across much of the state in the next few days.

The Code Red will make additional services available to people sleeping rough to stay safe, including daily outreach visits by specialist homelessness services.

“Help is available to the vulnerable, isolated and elderly and I urge anyone who may be at risk to access the services on offer, and for their family and friends to continue to keep an eye on their welfare,” SA Human Services Minister Nat Cook said.

The weather bureau has issued a warning for similar temperatures in Victoria as well.

“Maximum temperatures increasing to the high-30s to low-40s and minimum temperatures increasing to the high-teens to mid-20s across most of Victoria apart from mountain areas from Saturday,” it said in a heatwave warning for Victoria.

“Severe heatwave conditions are expected to peak across the long weekend with a prolonged run of heat. The expected passage of a trough on Tuesday should bring relief from the south.”

The forecast is similar for much of South Australia, with highs in the low-40s and overnight minimums well into the 20s.

The WOMADelaide festival, which starts on Friday night at Adelaide’s Botanic Park, said extra shade and misters would be available for patrons.

It has also put bat bins across the park, which staff will use to dispose of flying foxes who succumb to the heat.

The world music and arts festival is just one of several events expected to be affected, with Adelaide in the midst of the busiest period of its festive calendar.

Fringe Festival, the South Australian athletics championships and the Adelaide Cup horse race are all planned for this long weekend.

Across the border in Victoria, a major horse-racing meeting at Flemington will start early and have a shorter program as that state also battles a long-weekend heatwave.

SA Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier on heatwave

Source: SA SES

The South Australian State Emergency Service urged revellers enjoying the festivities to stay cool, hydrated and sun safe.

“Heatwaves cause more deaths in Australia than any other natural hazard,” SES chief of staff Derren Halleday said.

Halleday warned people to take care around trees, which are more likely to shed large branches when they suffer from heat stress in high temperatures.

SA chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier advised people to go to shopping centres or libraries if they were unable to keep cool at home.

“The heat affects everyone. But certain groups such as babies and young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people who have chronic health conditions are more at risk than others,” she said.

“Drink plenty of water and go easy on alcohol and caffeine.”

The BOM has forecast Adelaide to hit maximums of 37 degrees on Friday, 40 on Saturday and 37 on Sunday. Melbourne is forecast for a top of 29 degrees on Friday, followed by 39 degrees on Saturday and then 38 on each of Sunday and Monday.

It will also be warm in Tasmania, with Hobart shooting for a top of 33 degrees on Saturday, while there is also a heatwave warning for southern NSW.

Senior meteorologist Jonathan Fischer said the heatwave was due to a high-pressure system in the Tasman Sea directing hot northerly winds across south-eastern Australia.

“The last time we had a severe heatwave for Adelaide and the south of the state was February last year, so a bit over a year since we’ve had prolonged heat of this magnitude,” he said.

-with AAP

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