October 27, 2012 - 10:31 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Hurricane Sandy spun away from the Bahamas late Friday, Oct 26, after causing 43 deaths across the Caribbean, churning northward toward the U.S. East Coast, where it threatens to join with winter weather fronts to create a super storm, The Associated Press reports.
The Category 1 hurricane toppled light posts, flooded roads and tore off tree branches as it spun through Cat Island and Eleuthera in the scattered Bahamas archipelago, with authorities reporting one man killed, the British CEO of an investment bank.
The death toll rose again in impoverished Haiti, reaching 29 late Friday as word of disasters reached officials and rain continued to fall.
Sandy was a Category 2 hurricane when it wreaked havoc in Cuba on Thursday, killing 11 people in eastern Santiago and Guantanamo provinces as its howling winds and rain destroyed thousands of houses and ripped off roofs. Authorities said it was Cuba's deadliest storm since July 2005, when category 5 Hurricane Dennis killed 16 people and caused $2.4 billion in damage.
Official news media reported Friday that the storm caused 5,000 houses to at least partially collapse while ripping the roofs off 30,000 others. Banana, coffee, bean and sugar crops were damaged.
Late Friday, Sandy was about 90 miles (145 kilometers) north of Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas and 395 miles (635 kilometers) south-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina. It was just above the threshold for being a hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph), and was moving north at 7 mph (11 kph).
With the storm projected to hit the U.S. Atlantic Coast early Tuesday, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned it could merge with two other systems to become a hybrid, monster storm.