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New Zealand swelters in scorching temperatures

 
Wellington, Jan 5 (IANS) New Zealand sweltered in scorching temperatures as many places in North Island of the country hit record high temperatures in the first days of the new year.

Taupo, a tourism attraction town in central part of North Island, reached 33.2 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, making it an equal-warmest January day since records began in 1950, Xinhua reported citing the national weather broadcast agency MetService on Wednesday.

January 2 witnessed the second warmest January day for Invercargill, a town located at the far south end of the South Island, since 1948.

In the past days since the new year, hot weather continuously scorched the country's largest city Auckland and capital Wellington.

Many other towns surpassed 30 degrees Celcius, unusually hot compared with the same period in the past decades.

As more and more people swarmed to beaches to enjoy the sunshine and water activities, water-related fatalities surged in the past days.

As of January 4, 2022, the number of water-related deaths in the country this summer has reached 27 -- already passing the 25 fatalities for each of the previous two summers -- while there is still two months to go in this summer.

Chief Executive of Water Safety New Zealand Daniel Gerrard said the country was now on track for one of the worst summers of water fatalities on record. Lifeguards urged locals to take greater care in waters after an "alarming" number of incidents and fatalities in the sea and inland waterways.

MetService also suggested people to drink plenty of water to avoid extreme physical exertion while doing outdoor activities.

---IANS
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