Tens of thousands flee as storm hits south India
CHENNAI, India (AP) - More than 100,000 people were evacuated from their homes on Wednesday as a tropical storm hit southern India from the Bay of Bengal, officials said.
Rain lashed the region and strong winds uprooted trees in some places. Weather officials said the storm packed winds of up to 100 kmh as it made landfall near Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state.
A storm surge of up to 1.5m was expected to flood low-lying areas of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh states, the India Meteorological Department said. It said it expected heavy to very heavy rainfall over parts of the states during the next 24 hours. Fishermen were asked to stay at shore until Thursday.
State authorities turned 282 schools into relief centres in Chennai. The city's port halted cargo operations, but berthing of ships was continuing, the Press Trust of India news agency said. Twenty-three ships were moved to safer areas.