US: Hurricane Irene forces evacuation of 2,50,000 people

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USA
New York, Aug 27: Following an emergency alert on Friday, the New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered a mandatory evacuation after Hurricane Irene spread its devastating effects in most parts of US East Coast. Close to 2,50,000 people living in low-lying areas have been ordered to move elsewhere.

A complete shutdown of subway system was ordered as an indication of the impending storm all set to lash the East Coast. Other essential services like nursing homes and hospitals were affected when they were asked to evacuate as well.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has also indicated that the George Washington Bridge connecting Manhattan and New Jersey will be closed in the event of a marked rise in wind speed. Cuomo commented that the efforts were "one of the most aggressive activations of New York State government ever assembled in the face of a possible natural disaster".

Cuomo stated on the massive disaster management efforts that up to 900 National Guard troops are on duty to help civil authorities and another 2,500 workers from the Long Island Power Authority will be on stand-by in the event of any emergency repair work and tree trimming, making it the largest ever such deployment.

Officials also fear that the hurricane's effect could cause a surge of the Hudson River leading to flooding of Lower Manhattan and the city's subway system. With millions expected to be affected, the Category Two hurricane packing 105-mile (165-kilometer) winds are ready to slam into North Carolina on Saturday before heading north toward New York.

Hurricanes are a rare phenomenon on the US eastern seaboard, with deadly effects impacting close to 65 million people living in the densely populated areas from Washington to New York to Boston.

OneIndia News

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