The silhouette of One World Trade Center in lower Manhattan on Tuesday shrouded in smoke from Canada.MIKE SEGAR (REUTERS)
The dense smoke from the fires in Canada, accompanied by an intense smell of burning, has prematurely darkened New York and much of the northeast of the United States on Tuesday. Visibility in the Big Apple was almost completely reduced (impossible to glimpse signs as representative as the pinnacle of the Empire State Building, always visible), while the sky acquired a yellowish coloration, typical of sandstorms from other latitudes. The New York State Department of the Environment has issued a poor air quality alert, in effect until at least midnight, as social media filled with snapshots of the city covered under smoke.
Weather officials have warned that people most sensitive to poor air quality, such as lung and heart patients, children and the elderly, should limit their outdoor activities. The mayor of New York, Eric Adams, recalled on Twitter the need to cut exposure "to what is strictly necessary" in the case of patients with heart or lung pathologies. Similar alerts are in effect in some counties in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont.
Latest view of Midtown, also via @Earthcam. Surreal. pic.twitter.com/P16tLle8R7
— New York Metro Weather (@nymetrowx) June 6, 2023
The day dawned in the Big Apple with a light rain, followed by clearings and sun, until early in the afternoon the sky, bright when the calendar is about to reach the summer solstice and, with it, the longest days of the year, was dyed a coppery yellow, dotted with red in areas of the city. Visibility from the bridges connecting New Jersey and its twin state, as well as Manhattan with Brooklyn and Queens, was almost nil by mid-afternoon, appearing between the haze and fog of stormy days.
Normally the Empire State Building would be right in the middle of this view. Invisible now because of smoke from Canadian fires.
Please be aware that @NYSDEC has an air quality warning in effect through tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/mIXXeiEBck
— Mark D. Levine (@MarkLevineNYC) June 6, 2023
According to the Canadian Inter-Agency Centre for Forest Fires, there were more than 400 active wildfires in Canada on Tuesday, aggravating an already intense fire season that is expected to worsen. More than 200 of the fires were out of control, according to the agency. As of Monday, more than 26,000 Canadians had been evacuated from their homes because of the fires.
It is not the first time that smoke from Canadian fires reaches the northeast of the United States, but it is the first day of apocalyptic dyes. Sites that use interactive cameras, such as EarthCam, have posted surreal images throughout the afternoon, in which the silhouette cut out of New York's skyscrapers, its well-known skyline, is truncated by the haze. If on normal days you can see a radius of several kilometers from any high point, this Tuesday over New York blindness had been defeated.
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