Hurricane Sandy makes landfall in New Jersey
Superstorm Sandy made landfall along the coast of Southern New Jersey today bringing hurricane-force winds and heavy rains to a wide swath of the US East Coast, officials said.
Floods inundated large number of areas, leaving nearly three million people out of electricity. Some parts of Manhattan also experienced power cuts. It also flooded ground-zero.
In New York City, a crane associated with a high-rise building under construction collapsed. At least 10 deaths are being blamed on the hurricane. Two people perished in Mendham, New Jersey, when a tree struck their car, officials said.
In New York state, at least six were killed, including a 30-year-old man who died when a tree fell on his home. Two people died in other incidents. There was also report of collapse of facade of a building in Manhattan.
In its initial hours, Sandy -- one of the largest and fiercest storms to hit the East Coast in years -- swamped coastal towns, several areas in New York and New Jersey which registered a record level of rainfall and shut down major transportation arteries.
John F Kennedy airport in New York City and other airports in the region have been shut down with more than 13,000 flights being cancelled from the airports in the storm affected areas.
Emergency has been declared in more than a dozen states of the US. The storm affected more than 50 million people along the entire East Coast from North Carolina to New Hampshire.
US President Barack Obama cancelled his election campaign schedule mid-way and rushed back to the White House to personally monitor the situation. Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger to November 6 presidential elections has also cancelled his campaign.