Washington, July 01 (QNA) – At least ten people were killed and three million left without power amid a wave of powerful storms which has taken over Washington and eastern US states.
According to US electric service provider Pepco, thunderstorms in Washington and some areas of Maryland state nearby have caused outages in over 443 sites. The firm has warned it would take days before electricity is restored, primarily affecting institutions with heavy usage like hospitals, firefighting centers, and police commissions.
In Ohio, 500,000 people were left without power, an electricity firm has indicated, warning that it would take between 5 to 7 days for the situation to get back to normal.
US President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency in West Virginia, where 688,000 people suffered from outages according to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s office who called on citizens to practice caution in facing this exceptional situation.
The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) worked along with authorities in affected areas as reported in a statement by the US Department of Homeland Security; Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington.
A heat wave preceded the storms, with the possibility that the situation is repeated recording a temperature exceeding 38 degrees Celsius and bringing new storms.
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has compared the disaster to last year’s Hurricane Irene which yielded 20 lives.
The storms raced east Friday and into Saturday from Indiana through Ohio and into West Virginia and the nation’s capital, carrying winds as strong as 80 miles per hour.
They left behind hundreds of cut power lines and damaged homes. (QNA)