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Monday, 29 October 2012

Hurricane Sandy closes in on US East Coast

An intensified Hurricane Sandy is roaring up the US East Coast, threatening major floods and power cuts that could affect 60 million people.
Hundreds of thousands of residents have been ordered to evacuate New York City and New Jersey.
Public transport has been suspended in cities up the eastern seaboard and thousands of flights are grounded.
The vast category one hurricane is expected to make landfall within the next few hours near New Jersey.
Sandy has already killed 69 people - 52 of them in Haiti - after sweeping through the Caribbean in the past week.
'Potentially fatal'
At the White House, President Barack Obama warned Americans in harm's way to follow emergency instructions.
"When they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate," said Mr Obama, who has cancelled campaign events eight days before the US elections.
"Do not delay. Don't pause. Don't question the instructions that are being given, because this is a serious storm and it could potentially have fatal consequences."
The president has signed nine emergency declarations covering New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and District of Columbia.
The storm threatens an 800-mile (1,290-km) swathe of the US, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes in the Mid-West.
Up to 3ft (91cm) of snow is expected to fall on the Appalachian mountains in West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky.
At 17:00 EDT (21:00 GMT), Sandy was churning about 30 miles south-east of Cape May, New Jersey, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
The hurricane, dubbed Frankenstorm, strengthened on Monday, packing maximum sustained winds of 90mph with higher gusts.
Full moon tides
Hurricane force winds extended for 175 miles and tropical storm force winds for 485 miles, the NHC added.
Authorities said that high tides swelled by a full moon could create storm surges of up to 11ft.
Hurricane map

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