The ongoing bushfire situation in NSW has affected the air quality levels across the state to such levels that Port Macquarie experienced the world’s poorest air quality rating on Friday.
The government’s Environment Department issued a warning that the air quality index had reached 1,739 at 4:00 pm and warned residents to stay inside wherever possible. The rating meant that the air quality was significantly worse than New Dehli and Beijing.
North of Port Macquarie at Nambucca, the bushfires resulted in beaches being covered in ash.
The Environment Department explained that both the smoke from the bushfires and dust from the drought were contributing factors.
Local hospitals reported an increase in the number of presentations for respiratory problems across the worst affected areas. Emergency department data showed that across the mid-north coast of NSW, almost double the usual number of presentations were recorded for asthma or breathing problems.