LE NOUVELLISTE (Haiti), CNN, THE MIAMI HERALD (US)
Hurricane Sandy has torn across the Caribbean, leaving 21 people dead in its wake, and is expected to make landfall in New England early next week.
Forecasters warned that the late-season storm could wreak havoc along America's east coast, making landfall sometime before Halloween, provoking many American news outlets to dub the hurricane: "Franken-storm."
States from South Carolina up to Maine are bracing themselves for gale-force winds, heavy rain and flooding.
Sandy was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane late Thursday night as it made its way across the southern islands of the Bahamas. Although, as it approaches the U.S. in the following days, it may be met by a winter storm making its way east. CNN is warning that if they collide, they could transform into a stronger storm.
CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri said that the storm already spans an area of 1,600 miles.
Authorities in Florida have also been preparing for the storm, with many schools closing. The Miami Herald is reporting storm-force winds are battering the city, however, the state is likely to escape unscathed as the storm skims the eastern coast. The photo below shows yesterday's weather conditions in Miami (courtesy of @Lucas_Ordonez via Twitter).
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There have been 11 confirmed deaths in Cuba"s Santiago and Guantánamo provinces, mainly caused by falling trees or debris from buildings. One death has been confirmed in Jamaica when the storm hit on Wednesday and nine others were killed in Haiti.
Speaking to Haitian daily Le Nouvelliste, Jean Frantz Télusma, the mayor of the third largest city in the country, Cayes, said: "I can't even find the words to describe what is happening in the city. The whole town is flooded. It won't stop raining. The wind has uprooted trees and they have fallen on houses. We've had to evacuate the patients in Cayes' general hospital."