New York City air quality ‘worst in the world’ due to Canadian wildfire smoke

Smoke from Canadian wildfires covered New York City in an unhealthy haze, holding up flights at major airports, postponing Major League Baseball games, and prompting people to wear face masks.

The streets of New York City turned hues of orange on Wednesday afternoon as the city topped the list of worst air quality in the world.

Over 100 million people have been placed under an air quality warning due to the hazardous smog

Mayor Eric Adams called the Air Quality Alert an, „unprecedented event in our city and New Yorkers must take precautions.”

He said the Air Quality Index hit 484 at 5:00 p.m. – the max on the scale is 500. Anything above 300 on the government air quality index is considered „hazardous.”

There will be no outdoor activities on Thursday, authorities said.

Health officials are urging area residents to limit outdoor activities as air quality is expected to remain at „unhealthy” to „very unhealthy” levels.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said 1 million N95 masks will be made available across the state.

„(The smoke) has an immediate impact on people’s health, irritation to the eyes, the nose, breathing, coughing, so and even shortness of breath,” she said. „So our message right now is going to be reiterated multiple times because it is simply stay indoors, outdoors is dangerous and just about every part of our state, not just vulnerable communities.”

New York City schools canceled all outdoor and afterschool activities and officials reminded parents that schools are already scheduled to be closed for students Thursday.

Air authorities  slowed flight traffic in and out of Newark and LaGuardia airports due to the poor visibility.

On Broadway, Wednesday’s performance of „Hamilton” was canceled.

New Jersey closed state offices early, and some political demonstrations in spots from Manhattan to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, were moved indoors or postponed.

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