16:19 29 October 2012
Several areas in America have declared a state of emergency as the US braces itself for Hurricane Sandy. The storm is expected to make a landfall on Mondayand is thought to be 520miles wide, with New York City seemingly at the centre of its path.
According to the National Hurricane Center, as of Monday morning Sandy was 385miles away from NYC and was recorded as being south-east of the city. Its Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has already ordered the evacuation of some 375,000 citizens.
He said, as quoted by the BBC: “If you don't evacuate you're not just putting your own life in danger, you are also endangering lives of our first responders who would have to rescue you.”
Reportedly, millions of Americans are thought to have been affected by the precautions being issued, with many schools being closed for safety reasons as well as much travel being disrupted.
This includes international travel, and many flights have been affected already. With officials suspending or cancelling flights, the UK has reacted to the news with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic supposedly grounding their flights between London Heathrow and New York.
Experts are said to be fearful of Sandy, whose wind speeds have increased by 10mph to 85mph. It is understood the hurricane will meet a cold front and there could even be a chance of snow for certain parts of America.
One of the main concerns is that the storm will cause substantial flooding, and as reported by the BBC, Long Island Sound and New York Harbour are thought to be key areas that could be hit worst.
The hurricane’s arrival comes at a time when Barrack Obama and Mitt Romney are making their presence known ahead of the presidential election. It is understood the two contenders have had to cancel some rallies during the build-up to voting day (November 6th) because of Sandy.
Hurricane Sandy has already claimed the lives of at least 60 people as it made its way through the Caribbean last week.
In 2011, Hurricane Irene hit America’s East Coast and caused the death total to rise above 40.
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