- A thick blanket of smoke descended across the Northeast and Great Lakes due to record wildfires in Canada
- Over 100 million people have been placed under an air quality warning due to the hazardous smog
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has urged millions of residents to remain indoors after hazardous smoke from Canadian wildfires bellowed across the border.
Huge swaths of the nation from the Northeast to the Great Lakes are braced for several more days of smog, while Canadian officials continue to grapple with over 400 wildfires.
A thick, nicotine-yellow haze shrouded the famous Big Apple skyline Wednesday as the city became the most polluted in the world, with its Air Quality Index score soaring past 200, which is deemed ‘very unhealthy’.
More than a dozen US states and over 100 million people are under air quality alerts, prompting many to start wearing pandemic-era masks.
Health experts warned that breathing the fog can be as damaging as smoking 22 cigarettes a day. Nanoparticles from the smog are so small they can penetrate the lungs and bloodstream, with side effects also including irritation to the eyes and throat as well as breathing problems.
A sheet of smoke from the wildfires first descended on New York on Tuesday before thickening throughout the afternoon and into Wednesday, leaving those in Manhattan unable to see the New Jersey skyline across the Hudson River.
As well as sending New Yorkers inside, air quality alerts were also introduced in states including Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Illinois, Virginia and the Carolinas, according to the National Weather Service.