POOR air quality and visibility caused by the smoke haze and wild weather has forced the temporary closure of more than 20 Victorian beaches today, with 11 of those being on the Bellarine and Surf Coast.
Life Saving Victoria took to social media this afternoon to share the news, advising that people keep up to date with the status of beach closures via the Vic Emergency app.
According to Vic Emergency, the following beaches have been closed:
• Torquay Beach
• Torquay Front Beach
• Fairhaven Beach
• Apollo Bay Beach
• Bancoora Beach
• Thirteenth Beach
• Raff’s Beach
• Ocean Grove Beach
• Point Lonsdale Beach
• Queenscliff Beach
• Eastern Beach
Life Saving Victoria also offered a list of tips on how community members can stay safe in the weather. These included:
• Check that loose items such as outdoor settings, umbrellas and trampolines are safely secured and move vehicles under cover or away from trees.
• Stay indoors and away from windows.
• If outdoors, move to a safe place indoors. Stay away from trees, drains, gutters, creeks and waterways.
• If driving conditions are dangerous, safely pull over away from trees, drains, low-lying areas and floodwater. Avoid travel if possible.
• Stay safe by avoiding dangerous hazards, such as floodwater, mud, debris, damaged roads and fallen trees.
• Stay away from fallen power lines and always assume they are live.
“A temporary beach closure means the red and yellow flags are taken down and a warning sign is displayed on the beach to alert patrons that swimming is not advised,” the post said.
“Lifesavers will continue to observe the beach, answer the public’s questions and monitor conditions during patrol hours and if conditions improve, the beach will re-open and red and yellow flags will be put back up.”
The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Bellarine Peninsula at 3.50pm.