Tuesday, December 13, 2016

At least 7 dead and thousands evacuated as Cyclone Verdah lashes southeast India

Government response teams are on a “war footing” as Cyclone Verdah batters southeast India, having already left at least seven people dead and caused 16,000 to be evacuated from their homes.

The cyclone struck the city of Chennai with heavy rain and wind of up to 120kph (75mph) causing flights to be suspended and schools and businesses to shut their doors. The Times of India is reporting that the cyclone has claimed seven lives, including that of a 3-year-old boy.

About 9,000 people have been evacuated in the state of Andhra Pradesh and more than 7,000 people have been moved from their homes in Tamil Nadu, of which Chennai is the capital.

The state government of Tamil Nadu said that both the national and state Disaster Response Force teams are on a war footing with the Army, Navy, Air force and Coast Guard on standby to assist.

The India Meteorological department has issued several warnings and asked people to stay indoors. It has forecast heavy to very heavy rain in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in the next 36 hours.

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