19.5 C
Wednesday, September 27, 2023

US East Coast Enshrouded in Smoke as Canadian Wildfires Rage On

Schools all around the East Coast cancelled outside programmes like athletics, field trips, and playtime

Must read

Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

UNITED STATES. New York: On Wednesday, as thick smoke from Canadian wildfires drifted south, covering cities in a thick, yellow haze, schools along the US East Coast cancelled outdoor activities, airline traffic was hindered, and millions of Americans were advised to stay inside.

Forecasters predicted that air pollution would continue through Thursday and perhaps into the weekend as there is no end in sight for the flames in Quebec. The American National Weather Service issued air quality warnings for almost the entire Atlantic coast.

- Advertisement -

President Joe Biden wrote on Twitter, “It’s critical that Americans experiencing dangerous air pollution, especially those with health conditions, listen to local authorities to protect themselves and their families.”

The US private forecasting firm Accuweather stated that thick haze and soot reaching from high elevation to ground level marked the greatest wildfire smoke outbreak to cover the Northeastern United States in more than 20 years.

- Advertisement -

New York’s famous skyline, which is usually visible for miles, seemed to vanish in an otherworldly veil of smoke, making some of the residents feel unwell.

Governor of New York Kathy Hochul described the situation as an “emergency crisis,” noting that some areas of her state had an eight-times-above-average air pollution index.

- Advertisement -

Due to the haze’s reduced visibility, the Federal Aviation Administration had to halt air traffic into the New York City area and Philadelphia from other regions of the East Coast and upper Midwest, with aircraft delays averaging about a half-hour.

Schools all around the East Coast cancelled outside programmes like athletics, field trips, and playtime.

Due to the postponement of Wednesday’s home games between the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies, even Major League Baseball was impacted. Both a WNBA women’s basketball game in Brooklyn and a National Women’s Soccer League game in Harrison, New Jersey, were postponed.

In some regions, the air quality index (AQI), which monitors severe pollutants such as particulate matter caused by fires, was far higher than 400, as per Airnow, which rates air quality from 100 as “unhealthy” to 300 as “hazardous.”

At midday (1600 GMT), Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, had the worst air quality index in the country, with a rating of 410. According to IQAir, New York recorded the highest AQI of any large city on Wednesday afternoon at 342, which is rough twice the index for locations that are known to have frequent air pollution, such as Dubai (168) and Delhi (164).

Hundreds of forest fires in Canada, where the wildfire season has begun unusually early and fiercely, have charred 9.4 million acres (3.8 million hectares), displaced 120,000 people, and sent smoke billowing over the US border.

Smoke crisis: New Yorkers wear masks or stay inside

Through Wednesday, the skies above New York and many other North American cities got steadily darker, with an odd yellowish tinge penetrating the smoke canopy. There was a burning wood aroma in the air.

Wildfire smoke has been connected with elevated rates of heart attacks and strokes, a rise in emergency room visits for asthma and other respiratory diseases, itchy skin, rashes, and eye irritation, among other problems.

Air purifiers and masks were all sold out at a Home Depot in Manhattan. The New York Road Runners cancelled their plans to mark Global Running Day.

New York Mayor Eric Adams said that today is not the day to train for a marathon or participate in an outdoor event with children. He mentioned that individuals should stay inside if they are elderly, have heart or respiratory difficulties, or are older adults.

Many pedestrians were seen donning face masks, reminding us of one of the darkest days of the coronavirus outbreak.

According to AccuWeather, the bad air quality is expected to linger into the weekend. A developing storm system is expected to bring the smoke further south across the Ohio Valley and into the mid-Atlantic region, as well as westward across the Great Lakes.

Also Read: Japan: PM Fumio Kishida Resumes Campaigning after “Smoke Bomb” Scare


- Advertisement -


- Advertisement -

Trending Today