Melbourne, Australia’s central coast is experiencing the worst heatwave in its history, with a record high of 46 degrees Celsius on Sunday.
The heatwave is forcing people to shelter indoors in their basements and living areas and making some residents dangerously ill.
On Sunday, the Melbourne Weather Bureau recorded 38.3C at St Kilda’s East Coast Hotel, the highest temperature on record.
Residents at the St Kildans East Coast are being asked to take extra precautions because the mercury could reach as high as 47C.
Residents are also advised to keep pets indoors and wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water.
The St Kilaas East Coast has been experiencing its own heatwave this summer, with the mercury reaching as high at 40C at one point on Monday.
But on Sunday, it was a different story.
Melbourne’s mercury hit 46.3 degrees Celsius at the East Coast, which is almost twice as high.
According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the mercury was 46.1 degrees Celsius last Sunday and is currently at 46.2 degrees Celsius.
This means Melbourne has already hit its peak in the heatwave and is in danger of breaching its previous record high for a heatwave.
The mercury was already at 46C at 7am on Sunday when the heat wave began.
ABC’s 7.30’s Greg McKenzie spoke to residents in the inner city about the heat and the risks of staying indoors.
“I’m getting really stressed, I’m actually worried about getting sick, because the city is getting really hot.
The heat is so bad I’m having to leave work to get a shower and I’m not feeling well,” one resident told 7.10.
“I’m a student at a university, so I’m very, very stressed and I can’t even go to school.
I’ve been going to work with my kids all day and I’ve just been trying to stay as cool as I can.
When the sun goes down we have a little more sunshine and that’s good, but there’s a lot of humidity too. “
We’ve got a very long line of cars to park and we’re just waiting for them to get here, because we’re hoping that they’re going to be on time, but we don’t know if they are.
When the sun goes down we have a little more sunshine and that’s good, but there’s a lot of humidity too.
There’s a chance that we could see some rain on Sunday,” another resident said.
More than 1,000 people are also staying in hotels, according to the Melbourne City Council.
The city’s chief executive officer, Mike Kelly, said the city was not expecting any major delays.
“The city’s been through this sort of heatwave before, so it’s always been one of those situations that we’ve had to be prepared for,” he said.
“This is the first time it’s been this bad and we’ve got people staying at hotels to avoid the heat.”
The heat wave is affecting residents’ mental health, with one resident reporting feeling “like a zombie”.
Melbourne City Health Minister Nick Kypreos has called on residents to keep cool.
“It’s very hot here in Melbourne, so everyone needs to be very careful,” he told ABC News Breakfast.
Heatwave experts have warned that a warmer-than-normal climate will push heatwaves into the higher 40s and beyond.
Melbourne’s Bureau of Atmospheric Science (BAS) has predicted the peak temperature will be 47C on Monday and a high of 48C on Tuesday.