Storm-crippled US Northeast struggling to recover

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• With death toll exceeding 90, the hurricane-affected U.S. Northeast is struggling to recover.

• Floodwater across Hudson River are slowly receding, people in NYC are trying to get life back to normal.

• In the aftermath of Sandy, New York canceled its annual marathon.

NEW YORK, Nov. 3 — With death toll exceeding 90, more than 4.6 million homes and businesses without power, and as high as 50 billion U.S. dollars in total damage, the hurricane-affected U.S. Northeast is struggling to recover.

Three days after Hurricane Sandy dissipating, the floodwater across the Hudson River are slowly receding and people in New York City are trying to get life back to normal, but neighboring state New Jersey is still stunned by infrastructure devastation and traffic annulment.

Commuter trains and subways are rolling again. Three major airports reopened limited service, and the New York Stock Exchange is welcoming traders again. And the country’s busiest train line – Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor – is to take commuters along the East Coast again since Friday, although hundreds of thousands people in the city are still without power, especially in downtown Manhattan.

In New Jersey, however, many residents are left with nothing but Sandy-wrecked houses, scattered businesses, broken boardwalks, and widespread power failure.

With power still out in many Sandy-affected areas, the Obama administration made an all-out effort to purchase 12 million gallons of unleaded fuel and 10 million gallons of diesel fuel, which will be distributed to these areas, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said on Friday.

FEMA said the fuel, together with 2 million gallons of emergency diesel loan from Northeast emergency heating oil reserves, will be sent to New York and New Jersey State.

It is only the second time the U.S. government’s emergency Home Heating Oil Reserve has been tapped since it was established in 2000.

Meanwhile, in a bid to ease the prevalent “panic buying” and boost supply, Department of Homeland Security Friday waived rules banning foreign vessels from carrying fuel between U.S. ports, so that these tankers in the Gulf of Mexico could bring fuel to the region.

Also on Friday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would temporarily lift tax and registration requirements on those oil tankers docking in the New York Harbor.

In the aftermath of Sandy, New York canceled its annual marathon, which was scheduled to take place on Sunday in Staten Island, one of the hardest-hit areas by the storm.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg confirmed the cancellation in a Friday statement, saying he “would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants,” which would “distract attention away from all the critically important work that is being done to recover from the storm and get out city back on track.”

City authorities and the event’s organizers have been under mounting criticism that this was not the time for a race.

The hurricane has affected more than just the United States. UN World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday that there has already been an small rise in cholera infection cases in Haiti, after last week’s heavy rainfall brought by Sandy.

Haitian officials said 1.8 million Haitians have been affected and at least 54 people died in the storm, more than any other Caribbean nation. Sandy also destroyed 70 percent of crops in the country’s southern areas and caused many cases of livestock’s deaths.

In Cuba, Sandy killed 11 people and caused losses amounting to more than 88 million dollars.


In : World News

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