snijeg, snowstorm.jpg
Photograph: Photo by qJake, used under CC BY-SA

At least eight people have died as a result of a huge snowstorm on the east coast of the United States, a media report said.

As many as 85 million people live in the storm's path, CNN reported, with the US capital Washington and the city of Baltimore taking a direct hit.

Weather forecasters were predicting that Washington DC would receive 61 centimetres of snow, with surrounding areas possibly seeing more than that, Wunderground weather service said. 

Streets in Washington were eerily quiet with the usual rush-hour traffic off the roads and most restaurants closed and just the occasional bar and convenience store open, the Washington Post reported.

Some petrol stations in the US capital were running out of fuel after residents were advised to have 72 hours' worth of supplies on hand, NBC News reported.

In Virginia, nearly 1,000 traffic accidents were reported statewide Friday night as the storm began hitting the southern US state.

The National Weather Service posted a blizzard warning stretching over an area from northern Virginia to New York City. It includes not only Washington, but also the major cities of Baltimore and Philadelphia.

More than 7,600 flights have been cancelled this weekend, CNN reported citing the website Flightaware.com.

Power cuts were expected to surge as the storm grinds its way across the country's north-east.

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