Dozens taken ill as heatwave continues in Australia's New South Wales

15:38, February 02, 2011      

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A fierce heatwave has continued for a third day in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, with temperatures rising into the forties, dozens of people taken to hospital and bush fires erupting across the state, the Australia Associated Press (AAP) reported on Wednesday.

Paramedics have helped more than 55 people suffering from heat- related illnesses since the heatwave began on Monday, and the number of calls for assistance is expected to rise as the big heat continues.

On Monday and Tuesday, the state saw peaks of 41C and 43C respectively.

The state was on Wednesday in the third day of a heatwave, which has already seen temperatures rise above 40C.

Most of those needing help were construction workers, elderly people and young women suffering dizziness, heat exhaustion and severe dehydration, a NSW Ambulance spokesman told AAP on Wednesday.

NSW Health continued on Wednesday to urge people to stay hydrated and to avoid prolonged periods in the sun.

The state Premier Kristina Keneally asked people across the state to take heed of fire and health warnings as temperatures rise.

There were 72 bushfires across NSW on Tuesday alone, and more than a dozen new ones on Wednesday.

Homes were threatened and three unoccupied buildings destroyed by a 666-hectare bushfire raging near Manilla, north of Tamworth in north eastern NSW.

A spokesman for the Rural Fire Service (RFS) said crews successfully defended the homes and brought the blaze under control.

Earlier on Wednesday, another fire was contained in Lane Cove National Park, in Sydney's north.

Fire and Rescue NSW and the NSW Rural Fire Service on Wednesday were on alert for bush fires.

Source: Xinhua
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