By Jasmine Kazlauskas
These haunting scenes show a New Zealand city choked by a thick layer of orange smoke and ash that wafted 1,200 miles across the ocean from the deadly Australian bushfires.
The eerie footage was captured by Tyler Christmas in his hometown of Dunedin, located on New Zealand’s South Island, at around 11.30am on New Year’s Day.
Despite Australia’s deadly bushfires raging over 1,200 miles [2,000 kilometres] away – which is the same distance from London, UK to Naples, Italy – the New Zealand city was still blanketed by thick ominous smoke and an eerie orange haze.
The 28-year-old salesmen said that he could feel ‘ash and grit’ inside his mouth as a result of the smoke and added that many cars, including his own, had been dusted with a fine layer of ash.
He said: “It was such a strange thing to see our town affected by the Australian bushfires, as they were burning such a long way away from us.
“I never thought this could happen. It’s so strange to think all that dust and smoke travelled over the sea to New Zealand.
“It was just going on midday, but it looked more like the sun was about to go down because of how dark it was.
“I was astonished. Luckily, I have strong lungs so I didn’t find it hard to breathe but I could feel bits of ash and grit inside my mouth.
“But I think for people with breathing problems it would have been more difficult for them.
“When I saw how bad it was here, I just couldn’t imagine what it must have been like in the midst of the disaster zones.
“Here in New Zealand we really admire the bravery, heroism and strength from emergency teams involved in this fire.
“I wish there was more we could do to help those affected. My thoughts and prayers go out to them.”
Many parts of Australia have been brought to its knees by raging bushfires in recent weeks, with some reports claiming that the horror blazes have already claimed the lives of 18 people and destroyed around 900 homes – with the death toll expected to rise.