Superstorm Sandy: 13 people dead, US's East Coast paralysed
Sandy hurled a record-breaking 13-foot surge of seawater at New York City, knocking out power to an estimated 5.2 million people.
Thirteen deaths were reported in New Jersey, New York, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Some of the victims were killed by falling trees. Police in Toronto said a woman was killed by a falling sign as high winds closed in on Canada's largest city.
The storm has caused flooding and massive power outages in 11 states. Winds are ranging up to 75 miles per hour, enough to cause major destruction. In New Jersey, reports said that there has been over 11 inches of rainfall and in several states there is possibility of snowstorms. A power plant explosion has led to some of the electricity cuts in Lower Manhattan. This has slowed down evacuation at a New York hospital.
Over 60 million people have been affected by the storm.
There were reports of fires caused by downed wires as superstorm Sandy hit the state, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. US Presidential campaign has come to a standstill due to superstorm Sandy. Sandy, one of the biggest storms ever to hit the United States, has led to forceful evacuations, shutting down transportation and interrupting the presidential campaign.
The National Hurricane Center said Sandy came ashore as a "post-tropical cyclone," meaning it still packed hurricane-force winds but lost the characteristics of a tropical storm. It had sustained winds of 80 miles per hour (129 kph), well above the threshold for hurricane intensity. Sandy previously had been characterized as a hurricane, said various media reports.
The storm's target area includes big population centers such as New York City, Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia. President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney cancelled their campaign appearances at the very height of the race, with just over a week to go before Election Day. The president pledged the government's help and made a direct plea from the White House to those in the storm's path, said an Associated Press report.