Hurricane Sandy silences US websites: Huffington Post, Gawker and Buzzfeed all affected by storm that pounded New York

Several data centres on Americas' East Coast have suffered a power shortage, despite failsafe procedures, causing havoc for American news media

Hurricane Sandy’s remorseless march through America’s east coast found further victims last night and this morning in the cluster of media companies centred in New York. A host of websites crashed through the night and have sporadically come live again – only to go down soon after.

The Huffington Post, Gawker and Buzzfeed were all affected through the night. At the time of writing Buzzfeed is live, whereas The Huffington Post and Gawker have both crashed again, having briefly been live. Websites such as Gizmodo, under the Gawker umbrella, remain down.

Buzzfeed’s site and story page are back online thanks to a Content Delivery Network called Akamai which hosts the content at servers around the world. Buzzfeed was previously live in read-only mode. Spokeswoman Ashley McCollum issued this statement last night: “We’re having hurricane related issues both with our servers and our CDN, and are working on it. The social web is alive and well and our staff will continue to create shareable content for Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.”

The New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ both remain closed.

Datagram, the internet service provider in Manhattan whose servers host Gawker, Buzzfeed and The Huffington Post, lost power last night.

“Basement flooded, fuel pump off-line – we got people working on it now. 5 feet of water now”, an official said in a text message to the website Techcrunch.

Most data centres in the east coast have failsafe systems in place, which will have been tested to the limit in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy. But it seems even they were no match for the storms buffeting America ahead of next week’s presidential election.

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