US storm Sandy weakens as it moves inland

2012-10-30 12:07

Washington - Superstorm Sandy weakened early on Tuesday as it moved further inland over the eastern United States but could still cause high winds and flooding, US forecasters said.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said at 0900 GMT that Sandy was moving over southern Pennsylvania, packing winds of 105km/h, with gale-force winds still swirling over much of the East Coast.

The megastorm was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone shortly before making landfall on the New Jersey coast on Monday evening, but its destructive power vastly exceeded its ranking on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale.

The unprecedented storm brought torrential rain and strong winds to much of the densely-populated eastern seaboard, flooded much of lower Manhattan, paralysed public transport and knocked out power to millions of people.

The storm - which as a hurricane had killed at least 67 people in the Caribbean - killed at least 13 people in the United States and Canada, with the toll likely to rise as search operations were carried out on Tuesday.

The NHC said storm and flood warnings remained in effect for much of the mid-Atlantic, and that Sandy would bring heavy snow further inland, with West Virginia set to receive 30 to 90cm in total.