United States President Barack Obama toured areas in New York devastated by the superstorm 'Sandy' and met first responders, saying "long-term" rebuilding is required in the state which is still struggling to recover from the storm that hit its Northeast two weeks ago.
Obama surveyed Sandy's disaster zones by air on Thursday and took stock of the recovery efforts underway at Staten Island, one of the worst hit areas where thousands of people are still left without power.
"We are now still in the process of recovery. As you can see, as you travel around parts of Staten Island, as we flew over parts of -- other parts of the city and the region that had been impacted, there is still a lot of cleanup to do," Obama said.
The president said there are still several people who need emergency help, power, food and shelter.
"There's a lot of short-term, immediate stuff that has to be dealt with. And we are going to make sure that we stay here as long as people need that immediate help... There's going to be some long-term rebuilding that's required," he added.
Obama also toured a street with many damaged homes and talked with locals in front of a home whose front was partially missing.
He also met privately at the distribution tents with Damien and Glenda Moore, whose two small children died after being swept away in the storm.
The storm was the worst to hit the northeast in decades and caused unprecedented damage.
Over a 100 people were killed, with most deaths being reported in New York and New Jersey. In Staten Island alone, 23 people died out of the total of 43 deaths reported in New York City.
The storm left millions without power for days, brought the mass transit system to a halt and caused billions of dollars in economic damages.
Image: US President Barack Obama greets residents affected by Hurricane Sandy at a Staten Island FEMA disaster recovery center in New York.
Credit: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters