Published: Monday October 29, 2012 MYT 12:06:00 PM
Updated: Monday October 29, 2012 MYT 12:56:32 PM
M'sians in US east coast told to protect themselves from Hurricane Sandy
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NEW YORK: Malaysians living on the east coast of the United States have been advised to follow instructions from their local authorities to protect themselves and their families from Hurricane Sandy.
The Malaysian consulate general in New York said that it was "always willing" to offer assistance to Malaysians in distress, if there was a need.
Consul General Syed Mohammed Bakri Syed Abdul Rahman urged Malaysians to take precautionary measures to protect themselves, given the intensity of the storm which, according to American experts, is expected to cause considerable destruction to property and trees, and also disrupt electricity and other services.
"Though this is a personal responsibility of the individual concerned, we will be happy to help wherever we can.
"We are also in touch with Malaysian community leaders to keep ourselves abreast and also keep Malaysian nationals in the consulate's jurisdiction informed," Syed Bakri told Bernama.
He said that his office was also in contact with the U.S. authorities to get the latest information.
There are some 14,000 officially registered Malaysians living in the jurisdiction covered by the consulate general in New York.
However, Syed Bakri said not all Malaysians registered themselves because it was not mandatory for Malaysians to do so.
According to his estimate, there are about 20,000 to 30,000 Malaysians living in the consular jurisdiction.
Hurricane Sandy has headed north from the Caribbean on Saturday and was expected to pummel the eastern region of the United States.
The storm left 58 people dead across the Caribbean, and badly damaged thousands of homes, uprooted trees and disrupted power lines.
Meteorologists say that the storm could be wider and stronger than Irene, which caused more than US$15bill (RM46.5bil) in damage when it struck in August 2011, and easily the worst storm to descend on the east coast on record.
Already a number of states, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have declared a state of emergency.
Many airlines have already announced delays and cancellation of their flights to and from the east coast - there are three major airports, JFK, LaGuardia and Newark waiving fees for rescheduling flights for stranded passengers. - Bernama