Smog from Canada’s wildfires is expected to hit New York through Thursday.
This Wednesday, an orange smog blanketed the city and obscured the skyscrapers, in addition to reducing visibility. Residents were required to wear masks in light of the air quality warning that was issued.
New York recorded the worst air pollution from fires in Canada
At least 100 million people in the region are facing smog warnings as smoke drifts south and should limit outdoor activities.
Lawyer Hugh Hill, 43, who wore a face mask while walking his dog in Central Park, said his eyes and throat were “stung” by the noxious haze, which he compared to the smell of firewood.
“I don’t know if it’s psychological or physical, but I do know there are benefits to wearing a mask. Of course it won’t prevent everything, but you have to walk the dog,” he told AFP.
Thick fog enveloped the iconic Statue of Liberty and Manhattan Island’s skyline, which would normally glow under the blue skies of early summer.
Warnings were also issued in Washington, the capital of the US.
All outdoor activities in New York City public schools have been suspended, and Mayor Eric Adams urged city residents to limit time outside to “absolute necessity.”
“This is not the day to train for a marathon,” he wryly told reporters.
The IQAir.com portal placed New York with the worst air quality index on Wednesday with 353, surpassing the recorded level of 218, which is unhealthy and recorded Tuesday night.
Washington residents also woke up Wednesday to a pungent odor and overcast skies, despite sunny weather.
The capital warned that air quality is “unhealthy for people with heart or lung disease, the elderly, children and adolescents” and canceled all outdoor activities in public schools, including sports classes.
Faced with this situation, Major League Baseball postponed the game the Yankees were scheduled to play in New York against the Chicago Red Sox. The clash was moved to Thursday, where both teams meet in a doubleheader.
The league also postponed the game in Philadelphia between host Phillies and the Detroit Tigers due to air quality issues.
Other sports leagues took similar precautions. In New Jersey, Gotham FC’s game against the Orlando Pride in the Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) was postponed to August 9 due to air quality concerns in the New York metropolitan area.
“The safety of our players, officials and fans is our highest priority,” the NWSL said in a statement. “After consultation with NWSL operations and medical personnel, it was determined that the game could not be played safely based on the projected air quality index.”
The precautions even affected events held indoors, such as the game that would see the New York Liberty face the Minnesota Lynx of the Women’s Basketball League (WNBA).
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