Megastorm Sandy battered the US East Coast on Tuesday with fierce winds and heavy rains, killing at least 13 people and causing a power plant explosion, besides uprooting trees, power lines and plunging much of Manhattan in darkness.
Sandy, one of the biggest storms ever to hit the US, battered the coastline of New Jersey, where a large number of Indian families reside, with 80 mph winds, pushing seawater up by an unprecedented 13-feet in New York City.
Floods inundated large number of areas in New York and New Jersey and an explosion at a sub-station on the east side of Manhattan's Midtown left 500,000 people without power.
Eyewitnesses said a huge ball of blue light exploded over Manhattan last night believed to be a powerful blast at Consolidated Edison station.
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) declared an alert at the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in New Jersey, which is currently in a regularly scheduled outage, as the water level reached the minimum high level criteria.
"Water level is rising in the intake structure due to a combination of a rising tide, wind direction and storm surge. It is anticipated water levels will begin to abate within the next several hours," the NRC said.
According to NRC, no plants had to shut down as a result of the storm although several plants were already out of service for regularly scheduled refuelling and maintenance outages. All plants remain in a safe condition, with emergency equipment available if needed and NRC inspectors on-site.
The storm left a trail of death, and the toll is expected to mount. Two people perished in Mendham, New Jersey, when a tree struck their car, officials said.
In New York state, at least six persons were killed, including a 30-year-old man who died when a tree fell on his house. Two people died in other incidents.
It also flooded ground-zero, the site of the 9/11 terror attacks in New york. There was also report of damage to facade of a building in Manhattan.