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Veiled sun and irrepressible cough: New York caught in the smoke of the fires of Canada


Suddenly, New York began to look like San Francisco in the summer: orange sun veiled by clouds, building opposite blurred by smoke and that irrepressible cough that seizes those who venture outside. The most populous metropolis in the United States (8 million inhabitants) found itself caught in the smoke of the fires in Canada. According to the government website AirNow, the air in Manhattan around Central Park, is “very bad for health”. It continues to deteriorate, going from a “red” index of measurements of fine particles in the air of 162 to 183 in the morning then “purple” with an index of 235 at 2 p.m.

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In Syracuse, in the north of the state, the counter reaches the figure of 391 (out of a maximum of 400) with air quality “dangerous” : this is what threatens New York in the hours to come. The tabloid New York Postciting IQair, notes that only New Delhi in India and Dhaka in Bangladesh currently have even worse air quality.

Smoke from wildfires in Canada blankets a neighborhood in the Bronx, New York, on June 7, 2023.

“I don’t remember anything so thick, declared to New York Times meteorologist John Cristantello. It is significant. » The city is caught off guard: “there is no manual for this kind of event” said the mayor, Eric Adams, believing that there was “no late notification” of the arrival of the cloud of pollution.

Festivities canceled

The city and the state are now in containment order. It is advisable not to go out or play sports, to use masks and to use the air conditioning by closing the windows. Schools remain open but outdoor activities are cancelled. “We have moved all outdoor activities indoors today at all levels, including recreation and all outdoor excursions”writes to the parents the director of the French school in New York, Evelyne Estey. “All windows will be closed, with air conditioning and air filtration systems on. The Lycée has made additional N95 masks available at the two entrances to the school for anyone who wishes. »

Outdoor festivities that swell in June are cancelled, such as the fireworks and party planned for Coney Island to celebrate 120 years of Luna Park, Brooklyn’s historic oceanfront amusement park . “Following Mayor Adams’ announcement that the air quality is expected to deteriorate tonight due to wildfires in Canada, Luna Park at Coney Island is postponing the grand opening of its expansion with fireworks, which was scheduled for tonight. let the park know. Animal advocates have called on horse-drawn carriages in Central Park, which charge tourists a fortune, to stop operating.

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