By the time Sandy struck the Northeast, it had killed 72 people in the Caribbean. It was no longer a hurricane—but it was a thousand miles wide, with 80-mile-an-hour winds that drove the sea onto the coast in lethal surges. The final death toll was 147. As the world warms, it may see more storms like Sandy. It will certainly see higher seas. Image © Stephen Wilkes/National Geographic
Above: Superstorm Sandy narrowed New Jersey’s beaches by more than 30 feet on average. At Seaside Heights it swept away the pier under the roller coaster.
Image © Iwan Baan, National Geographic/Reportage by Getty Images
In Manhattan, Sandy’s surging tide knocked out a Con Ed substation, darkening the city below Midtown. Private generators provided some light, including the blue glow of the new World Trade Center, whose base is three feet above sea level.
Image © George Steinmetz/National Geographic
A seawall now protects Maale, capital of the Maldives, an Indian Ocean archipelago that is the lowest, flattest country on Earth. By 2100 rising seas may force Maldivians to abandon their home. More than 100,000 live on this island, on three-quarters of a square mile.
Image © National Geographic
The images are from the September issue of National Geographic magazine.
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