Death toll mounts as cyclone nears India

A southern Indian state has declared a cyclone alert today and evacuated thousands of people as the region braces for its worst storm in 14 years.

A southern Indian state has declared a cyclone alert today and evacuated thousands of people as the region braces for its worst storm in 14 years.

Cyclone Laila is expected to slam into the coast of Andhra Pradesh state from the Bay of Bengal later today.

Authorities say heavy rain and strong wind have killed at least 15 people over the past 24 hours, including four workers when an industrial workshop collapsed due to heavy rain. At least 55 fishermen have been reported missing.

Officials say that even before the cyclone hit, some parts of the state had been hit by up to 12in of rain.

The state’s chief minister K Rosaiah said officials have ordered fishing vessels to stay in port along the coast.

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