Storm Sandy batters American East Coast

  • Sandy hit the U.S. East Coast on Monday night with hurricane-force winds, bringing flooding, cutting power and killing at least 13 people.

    The storm made landfall close to Atlantic City, New Jersey at about 8pm local time with winds of more than 80mph.

    It lost its hurricane status as it neared the coast and collided with winter weather systems.

    The super storm caused a record surge of seawater in New York City, flooding subway tunnels and left much of Lower Manhattan without electricity.

    Around 50 million people could be affected, with up to one million ordered to evacuate homes.

    Public transport has been halted in several eastern U. S. cities while thousands of flights remain grounded.

    Sandy threatens an 800-mile stretch of the U.S., from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes in the Midwest.

    Forecasters have said Sandy could affect as many as 12 states for the next 24 to 36 hours.

    President Barack Obama has declared emergencies in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

    The disaster estimating firm Eqecat has forecast that Sandy could cause economic losses to the U.S. of between $10 billion to $20 billion.