NASA captures massive US east coast ‘snowzilla’ from space

Washington, Jan 24 (IANS) The US space agency has captured stunning images of ‘snowzilla’ blizzard from space that has walloped eastern US, killing at least 14 people and paralysing road, rail and air traffic.

The massive winter storm system pummeled the eastern US, dumping nearly 58 cm of snow in suburbs of Washington DC to New York, with two low-pressure systems merging into a potent nor’easter that dropped heavy snow from Virginia to New England.

A nor’easter (also northeaster) is a macro-scale storm along the upper east coast of the US and Atlantic Canada.

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite acquired the images of the winter storm system.

“Snow totals have topped 30 inches in at least four states, and at least 12 inches have been recorded at locations in eight states, with many more hours left to the storm,” NASA said in a statement.

According to various news reports, at least 14 people have died storm-related deaths and thousands spent a night stranded in cars and trucks on highways in Pennsylvania and Kentucky.

A CNN report said 14 people that were killed include six in North Carolina, three in Virginia, one in Kentucky, three in New York City and one in Maryland.

At least 9,500 flights have been cancelled and citizens were ordered to stay off the roads in some cities and towns.

The winter storm forced postponement of hundreds of events — including the National Basketball Association games in Philadelphia and Washington, DC.

Eleven states declared states of emergency: Georgia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia.

Washington has declared a “snow emergency”.

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