Friday, December 30, 2011

Cyclone pummels eastern Indian coast, kills 12 - 30th Dec 2011

At least 12 people were killed after a cyclone pummeled India's southeastern coastline Friday, bringing high winds and rain, officials said.

Coastal districts in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and in the territory of Puducherry were on high alert as the cyclone approached.

The deaths were reported in the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu, where meteorologists reported winds gusting at between 75 and 87 miles per hour.

Amuthavalli, the top administrator for the district who goes by a single name, told CNN the fatalities were the result of wall collapses and electrocution. No major rescue operations were required and the death toll in the district is not now expected to rise greatly, she said.

Emergency crews are working to restore power supplies and clear roads of fallen trees and downed power lines, she added.

Meteorologists downgraded Cyclone Thane from "very severe" to "severe" after it made landfall Friday morning. By lunchtime, it had weakened further to a "deep depression" as it moved westward, they said. Read More