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China Daily Website

23 killed in tropical cyclone in India

Updated: 2013-10-14 15:07
( Xinhua)

NEW DELHI - At least 23 people were killed in a powerful tropical cyclone which hit the eastern Indian state of Odisha and the neighboring southern state of Andhra Pradesh late Saturday night, causing heavy rainfall and sending seawater surging inland, the authorities said Monday.

The cyclone, nicknamed Phailin, made landfall in Odisha at around 9:30 pm (local time) Saturday with wind speed of nearly 200 kms per hour, snapping communication and power lines, uprooting trees, and damaging properties and crops worth billions of rupees.

All the deaths except one happened in Odisha which has been the worst hit in the cyclone, police said.

In 1999, a similar cyclone killed more than 10,000 people in Odisha.

According to the authorities, this time half a million people have been evacuated beforehand from the path of the cyclone in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh with the military help.

"We have been able to (keep) the death toll to a bare minimum," M.S. Reddy of the National Disaster Management Authority told the media.

He said that all the troops have started redevelopment work in the two states as the fury of cyclone Phailin abated though there is still heavy rainfall.

Local TV channels reported that there was no drinking water in many parts of Odisha, with Ganjam district being the worst affected.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that the primary aim was to minimize loss of human lives which has been done successfully. "Property to the tune of several crores has been damaged. Rehabilitation will now be done," he said.

The weather department has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall in Odisha and north coastal Andhra Pradesh in the next 24 hours, and rainfall in the neighboring states of West Bengal and Jharkhand.

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