Pollution alert in NY as Canada wildfire plunges air quality; AQI above 150

Updated on Jul 21, 2021 07:09 AM IST

On Tuesday, the air quality index (AQI) for fine particulate matter reached 170 in New York. This is considered harmful even for healthy individuals and nine times above exposure recommendations of the World Health Organization.

The Met Life and Chrysler buildings glow through a thick haze hanging over Manhattan,(AP)
The Met Life and Chrysler buildings glow through a thick haze hanging over Manhattan,(AP)
By, New Delhi

New York on Tuesday issued an air quality advisory after the city was covered in a grey smoky haze due to the raging wildfires burning in the western United States and Canada. New York state's environmental protection services issued the air quality advisory as fine particle matter is expected to rise above 35 micrograms per cubic meter of air, multiple news agencies reported.

As per the report by news agency AFP, it is not uncommon for smoke from fires in the west of the country to reach the New York area. However, they usually remain high enough to not affect air quality. This time, the smoke was lower than usual, it reported quoting an expert.

On Tuesday, the air quality index (AQI) for fine particulate matter reached 170 in New York. This is considered harmful even for healthy individuals and nine times above exposure recommendations of the World Health Organization. In the Philadelphia state, the AQI hit 172.

Other northeastern cities, including Boston and Hartford, Connecticut, also had readings above 150.

Every year in summer, the western part of the United States is hit with large wildfires mainly due to the rise in heat levels caused by climate change. This year as well several large fires have ravaged the region, notably in California, Nevada and Oregon.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in the US, more than 80 large active wildfires have charred almost 1.3 million acres (526,090 hectares) of drought-parched vegetation in recent weeks in 13 western states.

Several hundred additional fires are burning in western and central parts of Canada. This includes 86 fires classified as out of control on Tuesday in British Columbia alone, leading officials there to declare a state of emergency.

In the Ontario province, more than 2,000 people have been evacuated in recent days as the experts have mulled that these wildfires may spread further.

(With inputs from agencies)

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