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Temperatures in southern Australia topped 49 degrees Celsius on Thursday, shattering previous records as sizzling citizens received free beer and heat-stressed bats fell from trees.
The Bureau of Meteorology reported temperatures of 49.5 Celsius (120 Fahrenheit) north of Adelaide, while inside the city temperatures reached 47.7 Celsius, breaking a record that had stood since 1939.
Residents - Days - Summer - Temperatures
Adelaide residents are used to sweltering days during the southern hemisphere summer, but even they struggled with the oppressive temperatures.
More than 13 towns across South Australia have smashed their own heat records.
State - Health - Authorities - Thursday - People
The state's health authorities early Thursday reported that 44 people had received emergency treatment for heat-related illnesses in the past 24 hours.
"Remember to check on elderly friends, relatives and neighbours, and those who are unwell," the state emergency services tweeted.
Health - Authorities - Warning - Contact - Hundreds
Health authorities were also forced to issue a public warning to avoid contact with hundreds of heat-stressed bats falling from trees in parkland areas.
Authorities in central Australia said they had to cull more than 50 feral horses, after they found 90 dead or dying wild brumbies near a dried-up water hole.
Images - Dozens - Horses - Ground - Media
Shocking images of dozens of dead horses strewn across the dry ground began to circulate on social media this week.
"With climate change well and truly upon us, we expect these emergencies to occur with increasing frequency and nobody is truly prepared and resourced to respond to them," David Ross, director of indigenous representative body the Central Land Council, said in a statement.
Thousands - People - Beaches - Surf - Hundreds
While thousands of people have flocked to beaches to cool off in the surf, hundreds have taken to shopping centres to stay out of the heat.
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