Saturday, September 26

When dust dance, far.

[australia, sydney. 1-3. from Brendon Thorne/Getty Images]
[ 4. from Shisberg]

Sydney Morning Herald:

... And everywhere there was dust. It coated footpaths, shop floors, train stations and any other surface the wind could penetrate.

Cityrail trains carried it through tunnels and into underground stations.

"When I got on the train at Cronulla all our seats were covered in this red dust," Robyn Jaques said.

... Up to 75,000 tonnes of dust per hour was blown into the waters off the coast and particle pollution was the highest on record - over 15,000 micrograms per cubic metre at times, when a normal day would see less than 20 micrograms.

The choking dust was far thicker than bushfire smoke, which commonly contains about 500 micrograms per cubic metre.

... Loose red dirt from the arid outback was blown east by strong winds, in what was described by The Sydney Morning Herald as "the day the country blew into town".

... Strong winds following the hottest August on record sucked up dust from a decade-long drought in what experts said was the biggest such incident to hit Sydney since 1942.