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Governor orders fuel rationing

Motorists in 12 northern New Jersey counties will be allowed to buy fuel just every other day under an order by Governor Chris Christie.

Mr Christie said he wants to ease long lines and extended waiting times at petrol stations and prevent a fuel shortage in the state hard-hit by Superstorm Sandy.

Some petrol stations closed because of a lack of electricity or fuel, causing those open to be overburdened with customers.

Drivers with licence plates ending in an even number will be able to buy petrol on even-numbered days, and those with plates ending in an odd number can make fuel purchases on odd-numbered days.

A spokesman for Mr Christie told the Star-Ledger newspaper in Newark that there currently are no restrictions on filling petrol containers.

Earlier, the Obama administration said it is ordering the purchase of up to 12 million gallons of unleaded petrol and up to 10 million gallons of diesel fuel for distribution in areas impacted by Superstorm Sandy to supplement private-sector efforts.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) said that President Barack Obama has directed the Defence Logistics Agency to handle the purchase of the petrol.

It will be transported by tanker trucks and distributed throughout New York, New Jersey and other communities impacted by the storm.

Fema administrator Craig Fugate said the purchase is part of efforts by governments, private organisations and others to help the region recover from the weather disaster.

The purchase is in addition to an emergency diesel fuel loan from the Energy Department's Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve.

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