Hurricane Sandy: 41 dead as as authorities declare state of emergency

Saturday, October 27, 2012
By Paul Martin

Adam Gabbatt, Tom McCarthy
Friday 26 October 2012

A state of emergency was declared in some areas along the US east coast on Friday as experts warned Hurricane Sandy could contribute to a storm of “historic” proportions.

The hurricane left 41 people dead as it passed through the Caribbean and headed north. Sandy could strike the US coastline anywhere between Virginia and Massachusetts as early as Monday.

Meteorologists warned that weather conditions could be complicated as Sandy is expected to meet two separate weather systems somewhere over the north-east United States, resulting in high winds, heavy rain, extreme tides and perhaps even snow.

“It’s looking like a very serious storm that could be historic,” said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the forecasting service Weather Underground. He compared the convergence of weather systems to the so-called “perfect storm” that struck off the coast of New England in 1991, although that storm hit a less populated area.

On Friday afternoon, the centre of the hurricane was moving slowly north around 430 miles south-southeast off the coast of South Carolina. Sandy was moving at 7mph with maximum sustained winds near 75mph. Forecasters said there was a 90% certainty that storm would make landfall on the east coast, althought it was too early to predict where it would come ashore.

Parts of Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba were left devastated as the hurricane swept over on Thursday and Friday, leaving at least 41 people dead. In Cuba, 11 people were killed in eastern Santiago and Guantanamo provinces, as authorities said Sandy was Cuba’s deadliest storm since July 2005. One person died as Sandy passed through Jamaica and 16 were left dead in Haiti, where heavy rains from the storm’s outer bands caused flooding in the impoverished and deforested country. A 66-year-old man died in the Bahamas after falling from his roof in upscale Lyford Cay late Thursday, as he attempted to repair a window shutter.’

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