Smoke from California and Oregon wildfires has filled Canada’s third-largest city of Vancouver
A city known for its beautiful mountain views and fresh ocean winds is the dirtiest air of the week in the world.
Citizens have been spent days under a thick haze that has irritated eyes and throats and sent asthmatics gasping for breath. It has also complicated COVID-19 testing.
Yesterday, despite forecasted smoke-clearing rainstorms, the city that lies 800 miles north of the biggest California fires—topped for the second time this week the World Air Quality Index for worst air, after briefly ceding first place to Portland in fire-stricken Oregon.
“I’m out of breath all the time, my chest feels like it’s exploding, I feel like I’m going to suffocate,” Fatima Jaffer, a doctoral student at the University of British Columbia, told the Canadian mass media channels.
“I’m afraid of the long-term damage this smoke might do to my lungs and my asthma.”
Authorities for the metropolitan region of 2.5 million residents issued daily air quality warnings since September 8, with things so bad that Vancouver opened five filtered “clean air shelters.”
It’s equivalent to smoking eight cigarettes a day, researchers noted. Health officials urged all citizens to close windows and avoid strenuous exercise or outdoor activities especially those with respiratory illness.
Thousands of citizens are struggling with the air in the city.
Mike Haines told exclusively to Global247news of the cities plight at present: ” So many citizens are in fear, the poor homeless have to sleep out in this each day, they have no shelter from it or protection, those with chronic diseases like Asthma and Cystic Fibrosis are housebound and will be for weeks yet by the looks of things”
Haines who moved to Vancouver city 20 years ago tells how it is like to walk in the smoke-filled streets ” You just take a few paces down the sidewalk and your lungs get tight and feel heavy, and that’s wearing a face mask, it’s unbearable and there is no respite from it” he said.
” Who knows how long it’s going to last, weather experts predicted it would clear with storm weather inbound but it didn’t” he finished.
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