Table: Understanding the human impact of heatwaves in Australia

by Australian Government Department of Infrastructure and Transport

Major heatwaves are Australia’s deadliest natural hazards, particularly for cities. Major heatwaves have caused more deaths since 1890 than bushfires, cyclones, earthquakes, floods and severe storms combined. The 2009 heatwave endured by south east Australia caused over 400 deaths in Melbourne and Adelaide alone and more than 400 people perished in each of the 1939 and 1895 heatwaves.