UK & World News
Superstorm Sandy: Obama Warns 'It's Not Over'
Barack Obama has warned there could be more destruction to come after Superstorm Sandy killed 48 people across the US and Canada.
Most of the victims were killed by falling trees as the powerful storm cut power to more than 8.2 million people across the East Coast, leading Mr Obama to declare a "major disaster" in New York and Long Island.
Forecasters say the storm is set to move westwards towards the Great Lakes, and on to northeastern states and parts of Canada.
While it is gradually weakening, gusts of up 50mph are expected, and heavy rainfall will bring flooding to inland areas.
Mr Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney suspended their campaigning with just over a week to go before election day.
Speaking at the national Red Cross headquarters in Washington DC, Mr Obama said there was no excuse for government officials not to act.
He said: "This is a tough time for a lot of people, but America is tougher and we're tougher because we pull together and leave nobody behind.
"This is going to take some time, it is not going to be easy for a lot of these communities to recover quickly."
He described the storm as "heartbreaking for the nation" and said it was "not yet over".
The President will visit New Jersey on Wednesday to see the damage caused and meet workers from the emergency services.
The "post-tropical" storm made landfall at 8pm local time on Monday, bringing gusts of more than 85mph (135kph) and a record-breaking 13ft surge of seawater in Manhattan.
The water submerged subway tunnels and roads, while many bridges and tunnels were closed as a precaution.
At Breezy Point in the borough of Queens, 190 firefighters tackled a huge fire that destroyed more than 50 homes. They used a boat to navigate the flood water and rescue 25 people.
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said: "These storms brought something like 23 serious fires to parts of (New York City). The terrible fire on Breezy Point is now under control but we believe we lost more than 80 houses.
"The search and recovery operations there are ongoing. If any of you saw the pictures on television it looked like a forest out in the Midwest."
New York University hospital was forced to move patients to other hospitals after it lost power and its back-up generator broke down. Among them were 20 babies from neonatal intensive care - some on respirators operating on battery power.
The storm caused the worst damage in the 108-year history of the city's subway system. Mr Bloomberg said it could be four or five days before it was up and running again
Elsewhere in New Jersey a levee broke, flooding the towns of Moonachie, Little Ferry and Carlstadt with up to five feet of water. Rescue workers are at the scene assisting those who are trapped.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie said the level of devastation on the Jersey Shore is "unthinkable".
"It's beyond anything I thought I'd ever see, terrible."
Juan Allen, who lives in a mobile home park in the state, said: "I saw trees not just knocked down but ripped right out of the ground. I watched a tree crush a guy's house like a wet sponge."
Some 670,000 New York homes have been left without power by the storm, with electricity knocked out to more than eight million people.
A total of 48 people have been reported dead by local officials in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, West Virginia and North Carolina, while in Toronto, Canadian police said a woman died after being hit by flying debris.
Airlines cancelled more than 15,000 flights and New York City's three major airports remain closed.
The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was closed on Monday and the Nasdaq suspended. Both will reopen on Wednesday.
Journalist Bucky Turco, who was out on his pedal bike during the height of the storm, criticised how city officials dealt with the crisis.
He said: "What I find absurd is that the city went through all these preparations and in the end it was rainwater that brought down one of the most important cities in the world. It's kind of shocking."
It is predicted to have caused some $20bn worth of damage - one of the most costly in US history - with more lost through a loss of earnings.
Sandy had already killed 69 people in the Caribbean, where many islands were left devastated by the extreme weather conditions.
Haiti was worst-hit, with 52 confirmed dead and many more still missing. Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe described the storm as a "disaster of major proportions".
Residents of Cuba's second-largest city of Santiago were left without power and running water for four days.
After battering the Caribbean, Sandy then made its way up the Atlantic. As it made its way toward land, it converged with a cold-weather system that turned into a hybrid consisting not only of rain, high wind and snow.
Earlier, a US sailor on board a replica of the HMS Bounty was recovered from the sea in an "unresponsive" condition and later died. The captain was missing, feared dead after the tall ship went down off the Carolinas.