Over 150,000 households and businesses in the southern state of Victoria have lost electricity as a heat wave hit the region on Friday, local media reported.
Australian Energy Market Operator chief executive Audrey Zibelman told Australian Associated Press that as temperatures soared past 45 degrees Celsius in many parts of Victoria, several generators simply failed in the heat.
Melbourne city temperatures hit 42.3 degrees at midday (0100 GMT), causing traffic chaos as over 100 traffic lights lost power.
Heat records tumbled across the region as the heat wave rolled eastwards.
Adelaide hit a record 46.6 degrees on Thursday, while Port Augusta, 300 kilometres to the north, reached a record 49.5 degrees, making it the world’s hottest temperature ever recorded for a seaside town.
Bushfires broke out east of Melbourne, but city temperatures dropped 12 degrees in a matter of minutes as a cold front moved in.
The heatwave is expected to hit New South Wales on Saturday with inland temperatures expected to be in the mid 40s.