Hurricane Sandy, the super-storm about to hit the East Coast, has strengthened further. The public transport has been shut down and the stock market closed. About 5 crore people from the Mid-Atlantic to Canada are in the path of the nearly 1,600-km-wide storm, the largest to hit the US in history. It is feared to topple trees, damage buildings, cause power outages and lead to heavy flooding.
The US National Hurricane Center has said that the storm, moving at 15 mph, had strengthened as it turned towards the coast. It is feared to bring a "threatening storm surge", coastal hurricane winds and heavy snow in the Appalachian Mountains. A state of emergency has been declared in 9 US states and Prez Obama has asked the nation to brace itself.
Sandy has already claimed 66 lives in the Caribbean before coming to US coastal areas with rain and triggering snowfall. The storm has been predicted to strike the New Jersey shore near Atlantic City tonight. While Sandy lacks yet the punch of Hurricane Katrina, which had devastated New Orleans in 2005, it could become potentially more powerful it approaches the US coast.