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Hurricane Sandy leaves at least 72 dead in the US, 71 in the Caribbean


Hurricane Sandy left at least 72 people dead in the United States by Wednesday, continuing the trail of destruction that began in the Caribbean.{{more}}

The death toll and the estimates of damage from the hurricane in the Caribbean grew after more complete assessments.

Two new deaths recorded in Haiti brought the total for the country to 54 and for the Caribbean to 71.

In the Bahamas, the total cost of damage to private property and public infrastructure is expected to reach as high as US$300 million, said the 16-government Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility.

In Cuba, the government raised the number of homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy from 130,000 to 200,000.

Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves said Monday his government would offer assistance to Cuba.

After leaving the Caribbean, Hurricane Sandy moved north, merged with winter storms, and ravaged the eastern United States.

The storm left extensive flooding, knocked out electricity and Internet services for millions of US residents.

Trees and limbs that fell during the storm also left death in their wake.

A Vincentian-American man told SEARCHLIGHT Wednesday night that two people were crushed by a falling tree while walking their dog, close to where he lives in Brooklyn, which has a large Vincentian population.

“I just got my Internet back. New York is in a bad state, but we are ok,” he said in reference to his own family and other kin across the city.

Limited subway service was expected to resume in New York yesterday.

Both President Barrack Obama and his Republican opponent Governor Mitt Romney temporarily suspended their campaigns for next week’s election.

The president said New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and West Virginia were worst hit.

On Wednesday, Obama flew over New Jersey shore, seeing the devastation first-hand.

Meanwhile, Romney was campaigning in Florida. He tried to avoid accusations of a premature return, media reports say.

The White House also cancelled Halloween traditions and donated the treats to the organizations that would have participated.