Hurricane Sandy is a powerful tropical cyclone that has formed in the end of October 2012 and has affected Jamaica, Cuba, Bahamas, Haiti, and the east coast of the US and Canada. In 2012, it is the 18th tropical cyclone that was given a name. It formed on the 22nd of October, and then began to move north slowly to the Greater Antilles, continuing to gain momentum.
Hurricane Sandy has already caused some serious damage to the economy and can even become one of the most costly hurricanes in US history. The damage costs would be around $30-$50 billion, which is a second result after Katrina in 2005 ($108 billion). According to the local press, Sandy has destroyed 15 thousand homes and damaged 130 thousand, and these numbers are still increasing. During one week, Sandy has already claimed the lives of 157 people total, but this number continues grows every day. In US only, 88 people were killed, 37 of which – in New York City.
In fact, the city of New York may be suffering the most. One of the NY electrical plants, which happened to be in the midst of the hurricane exploded. Lower Manhattan is flooded; the water penetrated into the subway, resulting in flooding of several subway lines. All forty performances on the Broadway are canceled. The island of Manhattan is cut off from the mainland; the water level reaches 4 meters. This situation is worth than the most pessimistic forecasts of weather forecasters. The hurricane forced airlines to cancel 15 thousand of flights from the airports of New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.
50 million people are in the disaster area from North Carolina to Massachusetts. Eleven states suffered through an emergency outrage that left 3 million people without electricity.
Not only was the USA affected by deadly Sandy, but also a number of neighboring countries. For example, residents of Santiago, Cuba’s second largest city of the country, lived four days without water and light. The streets were full of signs that remind to boil water in order to avoid infectious diseases.
Around 7,000 National Guard troops were sent to assist the victims of Hurricane Sandy, said the Pentagon. Approximately 6.7 thousand National Guard troops are in a state of constant readiness to be sent to the states of New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut and Maryland to assist authorities in the region and to help overcome the consequences of the hurricane. Forces will be attached to aid professionals, and teams of Emergency Management Agency for the work-related evacuation, search and rescue, relief and supply of necessary equipment and things, -informed the press-service of the Pentagon. Also, 140 helicopters will be used in areas, affected by the storm, to help find missing people and things.
The arrival of Sandy on the East coast was anticipated; therefore, the US adopted some emergency measures. In some cities, including New York and Washington, DC, the public transportation is suspended, classes in schools are canceled, and government offices are closed. Even the New York Stock Exchange has stopped its work for two days, as well as the headquarters of the United Nations.
U.S. President Barack Obama called on the residents of the states in the path of the hurricane, to treat the impending danger seriously and not to oppose to a possible evacuation. He has held a telephone meeting with the heads of emergency services to discuss preparations for the storm.
In connection with the approaching danger, presidential candidates have decided to change their schedules and cancel scheduled meetings. Obama’s opponent, Republican Mitt Romney, was forced to cancel a pre-election event in Virginia, and went to Ohio instead.