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8 Dead as Cyclone Hudhud Batters India’s Eastern Coast

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At least eight people died as Cyclone Hudhud battered India’s eastern coast over the weekend, moving inland Monday.

The cyclone made landfall Sunday near the city of Visakhapatnam in India’s southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh, with wind speeds of up to 130 m.p.h., the Associated Press reports.

As Hudhud moved 90 miles (145 km) northwest up the coast, weather forecasters downgraded the cyclone to a tropical depression.

Five people in Andhra Pradesh state and three in Odisha state died, mainly from collapsing walls and trees, Indian officials told the Associated Press.

More than 190 miles (305 km) of India’s coastline is likely to have been severely damaged, and in some areas electricity and telecommunications lines were cut to avoid electrocutions.

Disaster-relief teams have been dispatched to carry out relief operations throughout Monday.

Speaking on Sunday, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababa Naidu said it was too early to make an assessment of the damage.

“We are unable to ascertain the situation, 70% of communication has totally collapsed,” he said. “We are asking people not to come out of their houses. We are mobilizing men and materiel immediately.”

At least 400,000 people were evacuated from the coastal areas before the storm hit.

Meanwhile in Japan, Typhoon Vongfong was downgraded to a tropical storm Monday after making landfall in Kyushu and Honshu. It had battered Okinawa’s main island Sunday, injuring 37 people.


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Write to Helen Regan at helen.regan@timeasia.com