Thousands flee cyclone on India’s east coast

NEW DELHI: A powerful cyclone left one person dead and forced thousands to flee their homes on India’s east coast, officials said Tuesday.

Cyclone Phethai packed winds up to 90kmh, felling thousands of trees and electricity pylons, and bringing heavy rains to the coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh state after making landfall on Monday.

Officials said 10,600 people were moved to relief camps after being evacuated from the worst affected districts.

The cyclone has since lost some strength and was moving westwards into the mainland, bringing heavy rains along its course.

One person was killed due to heavy rains in Vijaywada city, an official at the state disaster management authority told AFP.

Cyclone Gaja hit India’s east coast last month, killing more than 30 people. Two people were killed by Cyclone Titli in October.

Storms regularly hit southern India between April and December. Last year, Cyclone Ockhi left nearly 250 people dead in Tamil Nadu and Kerala states. — AFP

Indian residents walk along a breakwater at Kasimedu fishing harbour as cyclone Phethai approaches the eastern Indian coast, in Chennai on Dec 16, 2018. Cyclone Phethai made landfall on the Andhra Pradesh coast on Dec 17. — AFP

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