Wednesday, October 15, 2014

300,000 Evacuated as Strong Cyclone Hits Eastern India

 300,000 Evacuated as Strong Cyclone Hits Eastern India

MSN News | October 13, 2014

A powerful cyclone crashed against the eastern coast of India on Sunday, uprooting trees, lashing the area with heavy rain and wind, and disrupting power and communication lines.

Close to 300,000 people were evacuated from their homes in parts of the states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh as of Sunday evening, according to disaster and relief officials in each state. One of the worst-hit regions was the coast of Andhra Pradesh, where more than 130,000 people were evacuated starting on Saturday in preparation for the storm, and where the 15-mile eye of the storm passed on Sunday afternoon. The storm, which is called Cyclone Hudhud, hit the southern port city of Visakhapatnam, where there is a major naval base.

“There is huge damage,” said N. Chandrababu Naidu, the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, in a telephone interview with the Indian news channel NDTV. “Even to buildings, trees and also crops. Communication has totally collapsed.”

The Japanese island of Okinawa was also hit by a powerful typhoon, Vongfong, on Sunday. The typhoon was expected by Monday to fully reach the island of Kyushu, Japan, becoming the second severe storm to hit in a week, according to The Associated Press. At least 35 people were reported injured in Okinawa and Kyushu, where the authorities told 150,000 people to evacuate as the typhoon toppled trees, flooded streets and cut power to more than 60,000 homes. The Japan Meteorological Agency said the typhoon could reach the Tokyo area Tuesday, gradually losing strength as it moves up the archipelago.