Sandy shuts NZ Embassy, consulate
Tue, 30 Oct 2012 8:12a.m.
The New Zealand Embassy in Washington has been closed and the country's consulate in New York is also shut as the east coast of the United States awaits the arrival of Hurricane Sandy.
The category 1 hurricane is expected to wreak havoc when it makes landfall with flood warnings and evacuation orders in place.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says both diplomatic posts would be closed on Monday and urged New Zealanders in the US to lodge their details with the embassy.
It advised Kiwi tourists to follow the advice of their accommodation providers or tour operators.
"New Zealanders in the United States are advised to follow the advice of the local authorities at all times and seek suitable shelter," it said.
US Ambassador Mike Moore posted on Twitter that Washington was taking a battering as the storm increased in intensity.
"The trees in Washington don't like the wind ... and it's about Wellington windy right now," he tweeted.
David Fanning, a Kiwi living in the northern New York suburb of Scarsdale says he had tied the family's trampoline to trees as the wind picked up.
"Waiting for Sandy ... starting to blow hard, electricity still on. Fingers crossed," he said.
The hurricane killed at least 66 people in the Caribbean and it expected to make landfall about 5pm NZT.
Winds were hitting 150km/h as the storm's strength grew and Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley predicted there would be fatalities.
Nearly 12,000 flights have been grounded and airlines warned it could take days for schedules to return to normal.
Click the ‘video’ tab to watch Mike Moore’s interview on Firstline.
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