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Sydney the hottest place on Earth after reaching 47.3 C

Sydney the hottest place on Earth after reaching 47.3 C
A surf lifesaver uses binoculars to scan the waters off Sydney's Elouera Beach during a heatwave along Australia's east coast, Feb 11, 2017. - REUTERS/File
THE U.S. northeast may be experiencing record-breaking low temperatures, but in the land down under, Aussies are melting from the sweltering heat.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Sydney became the hottest place on Earth on January 7, with temperatures in the western suburb of Penrith reaching 47.3 degrees Celsius.

It was a few degrees shy of breaking the record for hottest day in the area a 47.8 degree temperature recorded in Richmond in 1939.
The hot weather combined with strong winds increased bushfire occurrences, prompting certain areas to issue a total fire ban prohibiting open air fires, welding, barbecues, and throwing lit cigarettes, among others.

The heat caused higher-than-normal ozone levels, prompting a forecast of poor air quality, which could affect those with respiratory problems.

Extreme temperatures also affected train track infrastructure, and contributed to power outages, which affected roughly 3,000 properties throughout Sydney.

The next few days are expected to be cooler compared to Sunday's scorcher, but still relatively hot.