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Sydney, Australia hits all-time record high

Residents trying to stay cool at local beaches
Residents trying to stay cool at local beaches

Staff writers

January 18, 2013 — The mercury peaked at 45.8C in Sydney, Australia Friday, an all-time high since record keeping began 150 years ago.

Fire crews struggling to contain several blazes
Fire crews struggling to contain several blazes

The extreme heat continues to threaten much of Australia, with firefighters battling scores of wildfires in stifling summer temperatures.

On Friday, the city of Sydney set an all-time temperature record when the mercury climbed to 45.8C. The previous high of 45.3C was recorded in January 1939.

Meteorologists say the record setting temperatures are not limited to Sydney as the heatwave has affected about 70 percent of the country in recent months. Some experts say the extreme conditions have created a "dome of heat" over the nation's outback centre.

In addition to the severe wildfires burning across the region, the heat has resulted in transportation problems for several places.

Multiple failures on Sydney's train system have been reported as steel wires have buckled and key equipment melted.

The malfunctions have triggered widespread delays while train commuters swelter in some non-air conditioned carriages.

The length and severity of the current heatwave are unprecedented, according to officials.

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