The Straits Times
Published on Oct 28, 2012

Superstorm threat launches mass evacuations in US


SHIP BOTTOM, New Jersey (AP) - Hurricane Sandy headed north from the Caribbean - where it left nearly 60 dead - is threatening the eastern United States. with sheets of rain, high winds and heavy snow with officials warning millions in coastal areas to get out of the way of the rare superstorm.

Sandy is expected to affect up to 60 million people when it meets two other powerful winter storms. Experts said it didn't matter how strong the storm was when it hit land: The rare hybrid storm that follows will cause havoc over 1,300 kilometres from the East Coast of the US to the Great Lakes.

"This is not a coastal threat alone," said Craig Fugate, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "This is a very large area." New Jersey was set to close its casinos this weekend. New York's governor was considering shutting down the subways to avoid flooding and half a dozen states warned residents to prepare for several days of lost power.

In New York City, where officials are particularly worried about the possibility of subway flooding, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to prepare to shut the city's subways, buses and suburban trains by Sunday, but delayed making a final decision.