Smoke from Canadian wildfires envelops New York

New York/Washington

Smoke from numerous severe wildfires in Canada has blanketed parts of the US East Coast, making air quality hazardous. Plumes from hundreds of fires in eastern Canada moved south and caused a dense, hazy shroud and an orange tint to skies in the US metropolis of New York, among other places. “Mars or Manhattan?” wrote one user on Twitter and posted a photo of the skyline including the Empire State building.

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul called it an “emergency crisis”, as reported by the “New York Times”. The condition could also persist for several days. “People have to prepare for a long time.” New Yorkers have been urged to stay indoors and close windows as much as possible. All outdoor activities in schools and kindergartens have been canceled, and many other outdoor events have also been canceled.

In the US capital Washington, about 370 kilometers further south, the air was cloudy on Wednesday and it smelled of burning. Both cities have issued a poor air quality warning. Meanwhile, the highest level of air pollution was in New York: “Dangerous” – according to the official website, all residents of the metropolis of 8 million people should stay in buildings and reduce their physical activity.

The smoke attacks the throat and the eyes

In the street canyons, not only did the visibility decrease dramatically, but the smoke could also be felt in the eyes and throat. The FAA said traffic to and from New York and Philadelphia area airports was restricted due to poor visibility. There were big delays.

Manhattan Borough Mayor Mark Levine wrote, “Air quality is rapidly deteriorating.” The measured value is “now more than twice as high as the highest level of health risk on the US government scale.”

In the Canadian metropolises of Ottawa and Toronto and in the US states of Minnesota and Massachusetts, authorities have also warned residents of the bad air. Numerous fires have been raging in western Canada and now also in the northeast of the country for weeks. In the southeastern province of Nova Scotia, the situation has improved somewhat recently.

The White House said President Joe Biden was also made aware of the situation. “This is another alarming example of how the climate crisis is affecting our lives and our communities,” spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said.

An opinion: This report is part of an automated service of the German Press Agency (dpa), which works according to strict journalistic rules. It is not edited or verified by AZ online editors. Please send your questions and comments to [email protected]

Emily Bond

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