33 killed in India cyclone

At least 33 people were killed when heavy rains and winds unleashed by a cyclone over India's south-eastern coast damaged hundreds of homes and uprooted trees, officials and news reports said today.

At least 33 people were killed when heavy rains and winds unleashed by a cyclone over India's south-eastern coast damaged hundreds of homes and uprooted trees, officials and news reports said today.

Cyclone Thane struck Tamil Nadu state and the territory of Puducherry yesterday before weakening overnight, the India Meteorological Department said.

The storm collapsed houses and downed power lines in four districts of Tamil Nadu, where 26 people were killed, said the state's top elected official, J Jayalalitha.

The worst hit area was Cuddalore, nearly 105 miles (170km) south of Chennai, the state capital, with 21 deaths as the wind speed reached 85mph (140kph), Mr Jayalalitha's statement said, adding that another five people were killed in nearby areas.

The Press Trust of India news agency said an additional seven people were killed in and around Puducherry, which is also known as Pondicherry.

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