Pollution alert is also in Washington, where the authorities have decreed that the danger level of the air is purple, or the maximum, due to the fires in Canada. The city is shrouded in a gray haze and there is a strong smell of burning. Residents of the American capital have been advised not to leave their homes or to wear a mask. The baseball game scheduled tonight between the home team, the Nationals, and the Diamondbacks, has been cancelled.
New York, gray sky and disappearing sun: the ash from Canada’s fires invades the city
The White House postpones the Gay Pride ceremony
The blanket of smoke and ash that covers Washington and other North American cities prompted the White House to postpone the ceremony to celebrate Pride Month, which was to be held outdoors on the South Lawn.
The Gay Pride celebrations at the White House have been postponed to Saturday, in the hope that for that day the quality of the area in the capital will be improved, which has been defined as “very harmful”, triggering the ‘purple code’ which provides that the population be urged to stay at home.
Thousands of people had been invited to the White House event, which also includes a performance by singer Betty Who, described as “the largest White House Pride celebration in history, with LGBT families from all over the country demonstrating that LGBT people belong in the house of the people», as defined by the White House.
The situation in New York
The show didn’t go on this time, at least for one day. Several shows scheduled on Broadway in New York were canceled Wednesday night due to the smoke in the air from the ash cloud that arrived from Canada, where more than three million hectares of forest went up in flames.
“Hamilton,” starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, and “Camelot” scheduled at Lincoln Center are among the canceled shows. Notably, the production announced the cancellation just two hours into Hamilton.
After the first alarm, triggered on Tuesday afternoon, when the air became dark, with the skyscrapers enveloped in a yellow, gray and reddish fog, the situation worsened further yesterday.
In many areas of Manhattan the air has become unbreathable. In most of the buildings, all the events planned outdoors, on the characteristic “roofs” overlooking the city, have been cancelled.
Thus New York “turned” into Mars, the effect of the fires in Canada on the sky in 30 seconds
Ten school districts, across the state, have canceled outdoor activities for children. Pandemic scenes have been seen again: New Yorkers walking with masks, closed offices, the reduction in the number of commuters, who stayed at home to work remotely.
New Yorkers stopped to take pictures, but the images that show a red and cold city, with scenarios that evoke the covers of the science fiction magazine “Urania”, were actually more the result of the sensitivity of the optics used with cell phones and cars photographs: to the naked eye the city had a more sandy colouring, even if no less worrying.
In New York, where the alert remains in force until tomorrow, the situation is now markedly improving, thanks also to the constant winds that sweep the island of Manhattan. The sun has returned to illuminate the streets, the air has become breathable, the burning eyes and throat that had affected many people have almost completely disappeared.
The smoke from the fires in Canada arrives in New York, here are the photos of Manhattan covered in ash
But the situation remains alarming in at least twenty states, from Missouri to Massachusetts. Today the ash cloud is expected in New Jersey.
Inconvenience also for those who have to fly to Ohio and the Midwest. Forecasts say pollution levels in New York are expected to drop sharply by Friday morning, just in time to save the packed weekend of Broadway shows.