• 375

    USD/NGN

Sandy: Already 80 Dead

Sandy: Already 80 Dead

The death toll from Sandy keeps rising as swathes of the US East Coast battle to recover, three days after being battered by the massive storm.

More than 80 people are now known to have died in the US, 37 in New York City alone, and others remain missing.

About 4.5 million customers in 12 states are still without power, and chronic fuel shortages persist.

The National Guard is to deliver a million meals and bottled water to New Yorkers affected by the storm.

The number of dead in the US has exceeded the toll from the Caribbean, where 69 people were killed by Sandy.

The storm could cost the US $50billion (£31billion), according to forecasting firm Eqecat, doubling the previous estimate.

Climate change fears

In New York, limited subway services returned yesterday, though four of the seven train tunnels under the East river remained flooded.

It is day four of the superstorm crisis and the city is shuddering back to life – but slowly. Transport is one of the main problems. Part of the subway system that is the lifeline of the city has reopened but no trains are running in the business hub of Lower Manhattan, where the electricity is still out, or under the East River to the outer boroughs, because the tunnels are still flooded.

It is taking longer to pump out the water because of the power outage, which is also one of the reasons petrol stations are closing: officials say 50per cent have shut in New York City, 80per cent in New Jersey. So on top of everything else, there is a looming fuel crisis. The power failure has virtually shuttered Lower Manhattan and produced a host of survival stories from residents who have not found shelter elsewhere.

Fares on commuter trains, subways and buses have been temporarily waived in a bid to entice commuters off the traffic-choked roads.

Many of the petrol stations in the city and the state of New Jersey remained closed, and fights broke out amid long queues on forecourts.

The city authorities are only permitting vehicles with three passengers or more to cross into Manhattan.

Amtrak plans to restart its East Coast service – the busiest train line in the US – on Friday.

In lower Manhattan, where Sandy brought a record 14ft (4.2m) tidal surge, subway services are still closed and hundreds of thousands of homes without power.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday ordered the National Guard to help deliver some 30 tractor trailers of supplies to one million residents.

He has told relief workers to prioritise the elderly and poor, especially those living in high-rise blocks.

Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his endorsement for President Barack Obama yesterday, saying he had shown leadership on climate change, which he said could be causing severe storms such as Sandy.

Mayor Bloomberg said the devastation wrought by the cyclone had “brought the stakes of Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief”.

The death toll rose overnight as the extent of destruction became clearer in the south-western New York City borough of Staten Island, where at least 15 bodies have been recovered.

The storm, one of the biggest to hit the US in decades, swamped the low-lying district with tidal surges, lifting whole houses off their foundations.

Many residents in that community ignored official evacuation warnings and stayed behind to guard their homes.

Air-mattress protest

Two boys, aged two and four, are missing after they were torn from their mother’s arms by floodwaters, as they emerged from their vehicle.

Police searching the area found a body yesterday morning, the New York Post reports.

An 89-year-old woman died after spending 12 hours in her deluged Staten Island home, reports the New York Daily News.

Many residents on Long Island have had their homes destroyed

Her 65-year-old daughter was unable to save her. Helpless neighbours heard their screams for help but could not reach them.

Also on Staten Island, John Filipowicz, 51, and his 20-year-old son John were found dead under debris in the basement of their home.

Breezy Point, in New York City, where fire razed 111 homes, was described by one onlooker as resembling a war zone.

Emergency crews are working to reach the most badly hit areas.

In Hoboken, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from New York City, some 20,000 people were still trapped in their homes amid sewage-tainted floodwaters.

The National Guard is helping with evacuations and meal distributions.

One frustrated householder reportedly inflated an air mattress and floated to Hoboken city hall to find out why supplies had not yet arrived.

Jersey City has issued an overnight curfew as well as a driving ban.

On Wednesday, Mr Obama took an aerial tour to inspect the damage to New Jersey’s shattered Atlantic coastline.

He put campaigning for next week’s US election on hold for three days to manage the disaster response.

The cyclone also caused havoc further inland.

The state of West Virginia has seen up to 5ft of snow in some areas, after Sandy collided with two winter weather fronts.

Related news

Buhari kinsman calls on EFCC to probe account of BBOG

Buhari kinsman calls on EFCC to probe account of BBOG

Buhari kinsman calls on EFCC to probe account of BBOG
NAIJ.com
Mailfire view pixel