Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sandy leaves 17 dead in North America, 7 million without power


Hurricane Sandy appears to have easily caused more losses than last year's Hurricane Irene, but final totals will be hard to come by for some time because of the scale of the disaster, catastrophe forecasting companies said on Tuesday.

Sandy left millions without power, caused widespread flooding that may shut New York City's subways for days, and killed potentially dozens of people up and down the U.S. east coast.

RMS, one of the three primary firms used by the insurance industry to calculate disaster exposures, indicated that Sandy should outdo the roughly $4.5 billion in insured losses Irene caused after hitting the northeast in August 2011.


More than 7 million people are without power throughout the eastern U.S. as post-tropical storm Sandy leaves a path of destruction, at least 17 dead, and a record-breaking storm surge that has flooded parts of the Eastern Seaboard, including New York City.

Exact details of the damage caused by Sandy have yet to be determined, but the impact is huge: 17 people are dead in the U.S., plus one in Canada, millions of people have no electrical power, and a record-breaking four-metre storm surge hit New Jersey and New York City, flooding streets and subway tunnels.

U.S. President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster in New York City and Long Island.


NEW YORK—As Superstorm Sandy churned slowly inland, millions along the U.S. East Coast awoke Tuesday without power or mass transit, and huge swaths of New York City were unusually dark and abandoned. At least 17 people were killed in seven states.

The storm that made landfall in New Jersey on Monday evening with 130 km/h sustained winds cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses from the Carolinas to Ohio and put the presidential campaign on hold one week before Election Day.

Photos of Superstorm Sandy New York was among the hardest hit, with its financial heart closed for a second day and seawater cascading into the still-gaping construction pit at the World Trade Center. 

The storm caused the worst damage in the 108-year history of New York's extensive subway system, according to Joseph Lhota, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.


...Sandy didn't just knock the campaign off the front pages; it transformed it, as well. At a moment of extreme polarization, Mother Nature brought us together. Suddenly, the artificial walls that our political process erects to separate us into little demographic micro-groups to make us believe we have no mutual interests got blown away by the massive hurricane. 

As if to emphasize how interconnected we all are, it turns out that the full moon -- the one we'd have seen last night if the clouds would have let us -- was in league with the hurricane to amplify its effects.

Hurricane Sandy brought about the true bipartisanship our leaders only give lip service to. 

Suddenly, in a campaign in which the biggest issue, broadly defined, has been the role of government, nobody is saying: Why is government involved? Governors in the affected states aren't asking the "job creators" for help -- they're asking the federal government. 

And the government -- that is, the American people -- has been thankfully responding. Suddenly it's much easier to see the purpose of government -- to make our collective power more effective.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai