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Victoria hot weather: 'No chance to recover' as Melbourne sweats through heat, humidity

Monday January 29, 2018 - 01:01 EDT
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Sunscreen and hats are the order of the day at the beach. - ABC

Thousands of Victorians have been left without power as temperatures soared across the state over the weekend.

Victorians sweated through temperatures up to 15 degrees higher than usual on Saturday night and were warned to expect another hot and oppressive night on Sunday as the state sweltered through unusually humid conditions.

Temperatures in Melbourne reached a sultry 37.8 degrees Celsius at about 3:40pm (AEDT) on Sunday and regional areas got well into the 40s.

More than 31,000 customers on the Citipower grid were affected, and roughly 5,500 on the AusNet grid were without power.

On their website, AusNet warned that due to a "large amount of faults supply may not be restored until Monday morning".

About 20,500 people on the United Energy network were also without power.

Power along some parts of Victoria's Surf Coast was not expected to be back on until 2:00am on Sunday.

Residents prepared for an "oppressive night" across much of the state on Sunday, with the forecast minimum a sweltering 27C.

Forecaster Stuart Coombs said there would not be any relief until Monday afternoon, when a cool change was expected.

"[It will be] extremely uncomfortable conditions, I think particularly Sunday night," he said.

"You don't really get the chance to recover after the 39 degrees very well so it does make it very stressful on the body.

"When you combine that sort of extreme heat with unusually high levels of moisture in the air it does make for very trying conditions, particularly for the very young and the very old."

Victoria's Emergency Management Commissioner, Craig Lapsley, said people should keep an eye on the most vulnerable, such as the elderly, children and pets.

"If you're home with your pets you're obviously able to look after them and one of the first things is about making sure they've got water and plenty of water's that in the shade," he said.

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The long weekend also saw people flock to the state's beaches.

But Mr Lapsley said 24 people were rescued by lifesavers on Friday and 35 on Saturday, and urged people to swim between the flags.

A group of eight people had to be pulled from the water after getting into trouble about one kilometre from the flags at Fairhaven, near Airey's Inlet.

There have been 18 reported drowning deaths in Victoria this summer, the highest number since detailed records began in 2000.


© ABC 2018

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