On Sunday, January 28, more than 50,000 homes in Victoria state experienced power outages due to a surge in demand amid heatwave conditions overheating the grid. As of Monday, January 29, over 10,000 households remained without power. Temperatures reached 40°C (104°F) over the weekend in Victoria, driving up power demands as residents made intense use of air conditioners and pool pumps.
Although electricity is being progressively restored across the region, outages are expected to persist in some areas until until Monday evening.
Low-intensity heatwave conditions, the second level on a four-tier scale, are expected to continue through Friday, February 2, in central Queensland.
Bushfires are possible in some areas due to the high temperatures, which follow a dry winter.
Similar extreme weather caused widespread problems throughout southeast Australia in early 2017, including power outages.
Individuals in Australia are advised to follow local weather reports, stay well-hydrated (drink at least 1.5 liters of water per day and avoid alcohol), and avoid spending time in direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day (generally from noon to 16:00). Be especially on guard against symptoms of dehydration or heat stroke in young children and seniors, as they are particularly vulnerable. Do not hesitate to contact emergency services if necessary. For more detailed information, visit Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology’s website.