A dust storm blowing in from South Australia and western New South Wales failed to make the news â despite eclipsing Broken Hill the previous afternoon â until it created an eerie early morning red haze when it reached Sydney. Before it eventually faded to a sepia tinge for most of the day, most people awoke to an extended orange coloured sunrise â and then had difficulty avoiding awesome, albeit disturbing, photos online. Which in time gave way to that bloody Kanye West meme. (âYo, Sydney, Iâm gonna let you finish; but Mars/LA/Africa has better eerie colouring/poluted skies/all-enveloping dust stormsâ¦â.)
By the end of the day, news outlets were reporting that the dust clouds were stretching all the way to the Gold Coast and Brisbane. Meanwhile, Sydneyâs air was 1500 times more polluted than usual.
I had intended on compiling my favourite photos from around the net â but the day got away from me. And theyâre all over the place now, anyway. So I just picked a handful that are representative of a whole bunch.
Of course, the place to start is with an excellent YouTube clip of home video taken in suburban Broken Hill. If I were reporting about this on air or making a YouTube video of my own, Iâd use Elvis Costelloâs âTurning the Town Redâ and a couple of different versions of âOrange Coloured Skyâ (including the ridiculous Burt Ward version that Frank Zappa produced back in the late 60s) to orchestrate it. And, of course, anything from Dusty Springfieldâs entire oeuvre. Oh, and how could I forget â seeing as I have a later re-issue of the 7-inch single pressed on red vinyl: âI See Redâ by Split Enz.
Rayneegirlâs YouTube clip of the dust storm in Broken Hill.
Lauren Jarrottâs photo of the same view of Neutral Bay, before and during the dust storm. From SMH.
Tom Hideâs excellent â but disturbing â photo of Luna Park, from his Flickr page. (How cool is the reflection in the puddle? All thatâs missing is a Cybermanâs boot in the bottom left corner.)
St Johnâs Church, Parramatta, by Kevin Waterson, from the ABC702 breakfast radio blog.