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Alarming situation! What is happening to the air in New York?!

Alarming situation! What is happening to the air in New York?!

Thick smoke from raging Canadian forest fires has blanketed parts of North America causing unhealthy air, disrupting everything from air travel to Broadway shows and bringing back disturbing memories of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Authorities warned millions of people in the eastern US and Canada on Wednesday as a cloud fueled by hundreds of wildfires swept south, ravaging heavily populated areas from Ottawa to Washington.

In New York City, air quality ranked as the worst of any major urban area in the world on Wednesday, topping New Delhi, according to the IQAir World Air Quality Index. While wildfire air pollution has become a regular problem on the US West Coast in recent years, it has been much less common on the East Coast. Residents appeared surprised by its sudden and dramatic onset. Many put on the masks they had recently removed from the coronavirus.

Schools in New York and Washington canceled outdoor activities, while the US aviation regulator had "ground delays" for flights at Philadelphia, Newark, New Jersey and New York's LaGuardia airports as there was "low visibility" for pilots. On Broadway, actress Jodie Comer left the stage minutes into a matinee performance, complaining she couldn't breathe.

"Yesterday, New Yorkers saw and smelled something that has never affected us on this scale before," Eric Adams, the city's mayor, said Wednesday, as an eerie fog shrouded landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty and Yankee Stadium.

Adams urged residents to stay indoors and keep their windows closed. Even if the situation were to improve in the coming days, Adams warned that repeated episodes were possible in the future due to climate change, saying: "While this may be the first time we've experienced anything like this in this size". . . it won't be the last." Canada has had an active fire season in most of its 10 provinces and territories for most of the past month.

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