Toll from superstorm Sandy climbs to 16

Posted at 10/30/12 10:44 PM

NEW YORK - The death toll from superstorm Sandy has risen to 16 in the mainland United States and Canada, and was expected to climb further as several people were still missing, officials said Tuesday.

Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina reported 15 dead from the massive storm system, and Toronto police said a Canadian woman was killed by flying debris.

Providing information of the latest fatalities on Tuesday morning, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy said two people had been killed in his state, including a firefighter, and another two were missing.

Three people died in New Jersey, including two parents who were killed when a falling tree crushed their car, sparing their children aged 11 and 14 who were inside with them, Governor Chris Christie said.

Christie added that rescue operations were still under way, with three separate teams deployed in Atlantic City, the coastal casino town near where the storm made landfall at 0000 GMT Tuesday.

At least five people were killed by the storm in New York state, including a 30-year-old man crushed by a fallen tree in the New York City borough of Queens, a spokesman for Governor Andrew Cuomo told US media.

Another two people were killed in Pennsylvania, one from a falling tree and another when a house collapsed, an emergency management official told AFP, without providing further details.

Elsewhere along the East Coast, a young woman on board a replica of the HMS Bounty was recovered from the sea and later died at hospital. The captain was still missing Tuesday after the tall ship went down off the Carolinas.

A woman in Maryland died after her vehicle hydroplaned into a tree, officials said.

And in West Virginia, a 48-year-old woman was killed when her car collided with a cement truck while driving through heavy snow caused by the storm, a local official said.

The National Hurricane Center said Sandy had weakened early Tuesday as it moved inland, but could still generate gale-force winds and flooding along the eastern seaboard.

Sandy had already killed at least 67 people -- including a US national in Puerto Rico -- as it swept through the Caribbean over the past few days.

US authorities had warned the threat to life and property was "unprecedented" and ordered hundreds of thousands of residents from New England to North Carolina to evacuate their homes and seek shelter.

Falling trees dragged down power cables, plunging millions of homes into darkness, while storm warnings cut rail links and marooned tens of thousands of travelers at airports across the region.

Disaster estimating firm Eqecat forecast that the massive storm would affect more than 60 million Americans, a fifth of the population, and cause up to $20 billion (15 billion euros) in damage.

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