Monday, January 2, 2012

More power cuts possible as heatwave continues: Australia

South Australia is sweltering with the hottest start to the year in more than a century as a hot air mass which can sear vegetation moves across the state and into Victoria.

The weather system is dragging heat from central Australia with it and causing humidity to plummet.

Weather conditions are so extreme that South Australia's power distributor cut electricity to some communities to prevent bushfires yesterday, and it has not ruled out doing the same again today.

Yesterday's power cuts meant that South Australia's holiday haven towns on the state's southern coast sweated through the soaring temperatures without the comfort of power to provide some relief.

ETSA Utilities (Electricity Trust of South Australia) has defended the decision to cut off power to Victor Harbour and surrounding areas.

Spokesman Paul Roberts says ETSA has the legislative authority to cut power supplies when winds and heat combine to form a bushfire threat.

"We take very seriously the decision to turn off power," he said. more