11 killed as Cyclone Thane hits southeast India

AP News
Posted: Dec 30, 2011 5:29 AM
11 killed as Cyclone Thane hits southeast India

A cyclone brought heavy rains and gale-force winds to India's southeastern coast, killing at least 11 people, uprooting trees and damaging homes.

The India Meteorological Department said Friday morning that Cyclone Thane was centered in the Indian Ocean, 22 miles (35 kilometers) southwest of the town of Pondicherry, also known as Puducherry. The weather office said it was likely the storm would weaken and move west.

Heavy rains and winds of speeds reaching 85 miles per hour (140 kilometers per hour) uprooted trees and damaged homes and resulted in 11 deaths, an official in the coastal town of Cuddalore said on condition of anonymity because he wasn't allowed to speak to reporters. The deaths were caused mostly by wall collapses and electrocution, he said.

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The bad weather hit trains and flights in the region, Press Trust of India reported.

The weather office said that the seas were expected to be very rough along the coast of Pondicherry and its neighboring areas of southern Andhra Pradesh and the northern coast of Tamil Nadu. Fishermen have been warned not to venture out.