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Cyclone batters eastern India, 300,000 evacuated

  • News Desk

    Agence France-Presse

New Delhi, India | Thu, October 11, 2018 | 10:26 am
Cyclone batters eastern India, 300,000 evacuated A homeless man covers himself with a plastic sheet during rain from Cyclone Ochki in Mumbai on December 5, 2017. Cyclone Ockhi has left 13 people dead in Sri Lanka and killed an equal number in India's Kerala and Tamil Nadu states since December 1 as it churns in the Arabian Sea. INDRANIL MUKHERJEE / AFP (AFP/Indranil Mukherjee)

A cyclone packing winds of over 125 kilometres (80 miles) per hour and heavy rains hit eastern India early Thursday, local media reported, with over 300,000 people evacuated from low-lying areas.

Cyclone Titli, which intensified into a "very severe cyclonic storm" over the Bay of Bengal, made landfall near Gopalpur on India's east coast, the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency reported.

The Odisha state government evacuated more than 300,000 people from five coastal districts on Wednesday while local schools, colleges and childcare centres were ordered closed and fishermen advised not to go out to sea. 

"We have already evacuated three lakh (300,000) people and more may be shifted to safer places in view of the very severe cyclone," PTI quoted Odisha's Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as saying.

There were no deaths reported but trees and electricity poles were uprooted, officials told PTI, with roads and makeshift mud-brick houses also damaged.

The weather system was expected to curve to the northeast and weaken gradually, India's weather bureau said.

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