Video shows what appears to be a transformer exploding at the Con Ed power plant in Lower Manhattan after Hurricane Sandy made landfall on Monday night.
The first video was shot from a building rooftop in the Navy Yard.
The second video, shot from across the East River, shows a powerful explosion from the Con Ed power plant and a bright flash of blue flame lighting up the night sky.
According to MSN Now, the whole of Lower Manhattan was plunged into darkness after the explosion on Monday night.
Ninemsn reports that a Brooklyn resident said she saw several powerful blue flashes and then a "whooshing" sound. She said: "My heart dropped into my stomach and for a few seconds I thought we were all going to die. Then I doubted what I saw because it seemed too crazy."
Reports say Con Ed announced it has shut off power to parts of Lower Manhattan. According to Ninemsn, much of Manhattan is in darkness. The Daily Mail reports about 6 million people are now without light.
According to the Daily Mail, New York City authorities have shut the mass transit system, schools, the stock exchange and Broadway. Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers have been ordered to leave their homes. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said 911 dispatchers are receiving about 20,000 calls per hour.
YouTube screen shot
Explosion at the Con Ed power plant
The sea surged to nearly four meters at the foot of Manhattan, Ninemsn reports, and water levels are now at record highs in the city. The New York headquarters of the Fire Department was evacuated by boat.
Thirteen people have been reported killed in New Jersey, New York, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Five of the deaths were reported in New York. According to the Daily Mail, some of the victims were killed by falling trees.
Ninemsn reports that authorities are worried that seawater could seep into the New York subway and cripple the electrical and communications system. A CCTV photo showed flood waters gushing into the Hoboken PATH train station through an elevator shaft in New Jersey.
Saltwater has the capacity to spark dangerous fires and explosions in the subway.