Thousands flee cyclone on India’s east coast


Indian residents walk along a breakwater at Kasimedu fishing harbour as cyclone Phethai approaches the eastern Indian coast, in Chennai on December 16, 2018. (Photo: ARUN SANKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
Indian residents walk along a breakwater at Kasimedu fishing harbour as cyclone Phethai approaches the eastern Indian coast, in Chennai on December 16, 2018. (Photo: ARUN SANKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Cyclone Phethai has resulted in the death of one person and forced many to flee their homes on India’s east coast.

Cyclone Phethai brought with it heavy rains to the coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh on Monday. Packed with winds up to 90 kilometres (55 miles) per hour, the powerful cyclone fell thousands of trees and uprooted electricity pylons.

According to official data cited by AFP, 10,600 people were moved to relief camps after being evacuated from the worst affected districts.

The cyclone has since lost some strength and was moving westwards into the mainland, bringing heavy rains along its course, reported AFP.

Meanwhile, the Odisha government has evacuated more than 11,000 people to safety zones after Cyclone Phethai landed in Andhra Pradesh.

“We have evacuated about 11,600 people in Gajapati district as their houses are yet to be repaired after Cyclone Titili in October this year,” a senior official at the Special Relief Commissinor’s (SRC) office was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India.

The official said relief camps have been opened and evacuated people are being provided food and other essentials.

“We shifted the people because there is danger in staying in half-constructed houses during the calamity,” the official said.

Cyclone Gaja hit India’s east coast last month, killing more than 30 people. Two people were killed by Cyclone Titli in October.

Storms regularly hit southern India between April and December. Last month, cyclone Gaja hit India’s east coast, killing more than 30 people. Two were killed by cyclone Titli in October.