West Wales pupils 'safe and still in good spirits' as Hurricane Sandy leaves them stranded in New York
SCHOOL pupils from Carmarthen and Ceredigion have been stranded in New York as a massive hurricane hit the city.
More than 100 pupils and staff from Ysgol Bro Myrddin in Carmarthen and 44 students and teachers from Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi in Llandysul found themselves stuck in hotels in the city just as the superstorm hit the east coast of America.
Teachers at both schools have been updating worried parents back in the UK.
Hurricane Sandy hit New York on Monday evening.
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Some American states, including New York, have declared a state of emergency.
The 104 pupils and teachers from Ysgol Bro Myrddin landed in New York at 6pm on Sunday evening, after visiting Washington and Philadelphia on their annual school trip.
The school has been reassuring parents, relatives and friends that the group are safe and secure.
Teachers back at home in Carmarthen say they have been speaking to colleagues in New York.
Dorian Williams, head teacher of Ysgol Bro Myrddin, said deputy head teacher Euryn Madoc-Jones was with the group.
The school said all staff and pupils were safe in the hotel.
They were due to have a meeting as the Journal went to press to discuss their itinerary for the day.
For the previous 24 hours they had been confined to their hotel.
Mr Williams said: "They are happy and have settled in well.
"The pupils are staying in Manhattan at a central hotel far away from where the flooding is."
He said the teachers and pupils were going to rearrange their itinerary as a result of the storm.
"The pupils are perfectly safe and the safety of the pupils is of paramount importance," he added. ''The visits will be changed in accordance with the local weather forecast and guidance by police in New York.
Mr Madoc-Jones said: "We communicate regularly with the school and are keen for all parents and guardians to have confidence in us as we strive to provide care of the highest order to their sons and daughters over the next few days."
Pupils and staff from Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi have been forced to extend their New York stay until at least today, as Hurricane Sandy prevented their departure on Sunday evening.
A spokesperson from Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi said: "Due to the present circumstances in New York, a group of Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi students and their teachers, including the head teacher, have had to prolong their stay in the city.
"They are being well looked after and there is no concern regarding their safety.
"Strategies have been put in place by the school to contact parents and to keep them updated.
"The teachers have reacted professionally to the situation and consider the students' welfare and safety as a priority."
The latest update on the school's website says: "Everyone in New York is safe. At the moment the group is staying in a comfortable hotel and meals are served at a nearby diner. Both the accommodation and the meals are being organised under the travel company's insurance policy.
"The students are organising their own entertainment and are in good spirits. Every effort will be made to contact parents by phone and we will update the website as we receive further information."
It is hoped Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi will be able to make their way home today and Ysgol Bro Myrddin are expected to land in the UK on November 1.