The notice came early this Wednesday. In the middle of a sunny spring day, but with an unprecedented haze that drew a strange gray veil over the city, the weather service warned that Air quality in and around Washington ‘bad’. The so-called “red code”.
Later came the official notice: Schools canceled recess and outdoor activities until tomorrow and forced doors and windows to close.
While social networks were filled with unusual pictures with a foggy sky, sports exercises were suspended in parks and public places, and in the end experts advised millions of Americans to stay at home and not go out except in emergency cases. For asthmatics and those with lung problems, they recommended returning to an item no one wanted to return to: the chin
Smoke from wildfires in Canada is already starting to hit the US capital, after New York turned into one of the cities with the worst air quality in the world, and It affects millions of people on the East Coast of the United States.
“Code Red” is the fourth-worst color category — green, yellow, orange, red, purple, and maroon — in the US Air Quality Index. At some private monitoring stations in the DC area, they approached purple levels.
at “code red” levelsThe air is not healthy for everyone, but vulnerable groups (young people, the elderly, people with cardiovascular diseases) are most at risk. The health risks can become significant for anyone. Experts advise that it is best to limit outdoor activity and keep windows closed while indoors.
According to Ryan Stover, an air quality expert at NASA, the last symbol of red for Washington due to the Independence Day fireworks was on February 19, 2011.
The alert also reaches the animals. Washington Zoo They keep the animals in their shelters Older or weaker, including a two-week-old baby gorilla.
Before Washington, Canadian smoke engulfed New York, which was still on alert. In Manhattan, the phenomenon shrouded the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and other landmarks in a blanket of gray-orange haze, commuters fidgeting as they ran up and down the subway steps.
IQAir, a technology company that tracks air quality and pollution, said of New York’s air quality Tuesday night was one of the worst in the world, approximately at the level of New Delhi. The city is not usually included in the top 3,000.
The smoke is coming in across the border from Canada, where hundreds of wildfires remain unchecked, and hazardous conditions are expected to continue through Wednesday and possibly later in the week.
“He’ll stay here for a while.”said Brian Ramsey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in New York.
in Canada today More than 400 wildfires are burning, The fire season, which is expected to get worse, has worsened. The smoke engulfed Quebec, Toronto, and Ontario, then moved to New York and began moving south on the East Coast into Washington, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, among others.
it is expected that About 26,000 peopleCanadian Public Safety Minister Bill Blair told a news conference that soldiers were evacuated across Canada on Monday with the help of soldiers. “The images we’ve seen so far this season are some of the most dangerous we’ve seen in Canada,” Blair said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a news conference on Monday that many Canadians who had to flee their homes in recent days had only hours to pack up before fleeing. He added that everything indicated that “this could be a particularly intense wildfire season throughout the summer.”
As the air quality crisis continues, the elderly, children, and people with heart or lung conditions, including asthma, They will be in particular danger. authorities warned.
The New York Road Runners, owner and organizer of the New York Marathon, has asked runners who live in smoke-polluted areas not to run on International Running Day, which is celebrated on Wednesday.
“If you are in New York or any affected area, please read and follow health guidance for your city regarding air quality on June 7, and Think about running for another day.”.
Jennifer Stowell, a postdoctoral fellow at Boston University School of Public Health who has studied the health effects of wildfires, said. New York times The smoke from wildfires “may be more toxic” to the lungs than urban air pollution because of the size and potential for damaging fine particles.