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UN headquarters to be closed due to Hurricane

Updated: 2012-10-29 09:38
( Xinhua)

UNITED NATIONS - The headquarters of the United Nations is going to be closed for at least one day because of an expected hurricane, according to a statement issued to the press in New York on Sunday by the UN spokesman's office.

"Due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy, United Nations offices in New York will be closed on Monday, 29 October 2012," said the statement.

The statement also noted that all meetings scheduled for Monday at the UN headquarters have been canceled.

"The closure may be extended to Tuesday, 30 October 2012," it added.

The United States on Sunday is bracing for the impact of an incredibly large Hurricane Sandy, which could affect a big portion of the East Coast, bringing flooding and gale force winds from mid- Atlantic to New England.

The National Hurricane Center warned Sunday residents of the mid-Atlantic coast should expect life-threatening storm surges, as Sandy is expected to be near hurricane force at landfall, forecast to be around Monday night.

As of 8 am ET, the storm was about 260 miles (420 km) southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and about 395 miles ( 636 km) from New York City, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 km). Sandy was moving at a speed of 10 miles (16 km) per hour, and is expected to move parallel along the Southeast coast Sunday, approaching the mid-Atlantic coast by Monday night.

Faced with an incoming storm, states from the Carolinas to Maine have been making preparation. Authorities are rushing to prepare for potentially devastating effects along a 700-mile (1, 126 km) stretch from the North Carolina-Virginia border to Connecticut, where Sandy could make landfall.

Public transit system is being affected. In New York City, all train and bus service will stop at 7 pm Sunday in advance of Hurricane Sandy, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced. The closure applies to subways and commuter rail service.

Airlines have canceled hundreds of flights into airports along the US east coast ahead of the arrival of a major storm; hundreds of domestic flights have been called off. Some international flights into New York and Washington were also canceled on Monday.