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More than twelve people are now known to have lost their lives in the violent winds and rain from Hurricane Sandy.

Experts say the storm, which has a diameter of 1000 kilometres, is one of the worst to have hit the eastern seaboard of the United States. New Jersey and New York State are bearing the brunt.

In Manhattan, the storm surge caused an explosion trapping nineteen workers inside a power plant.

“The time to leave has passed, do not go outside, it is still very dangerous. And from now until the storm is well passed you just have to shelter in place. You need to stay whereever you are, let me repeat that, you have to stay wherever you are.” said New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg.

In New Jersey, three million people have been left without electricity and life has been disrupted for millions more.

A nuclear reactor in upstate New York has been shut down due to difficulties supplying the national grid, although it is not yet clear if this is a problem caused by the storm. The overall damage estimate so far has been put at 10 to 20 billion dollars or 7-15 billion euros.

The repair bill for Hurricane Katrina in 2005 topped 60 billion dollars, making it the costliest natural disaster in the US to date.

Also read: Hurricane Sandy sends the web into a spin – Live

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