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Cyclone slams into India

May 20, 2010 — Power outages hit towns as Cyclone Laila lashes southeastern India.

It's being called the worst storm in 14 years.

A booming cyclone plowed into southeastern India on Thursday, resulting in thousands being left in the dark after power lines were damaged.

Waves as high as three metres crashed into the coast, and torrential downpours flooded coastal districts.

There have been no immediate reports of casualties, but the heavy rains and winds leading up to the cyclone killed at least 15 people in 24 hours. A minimum of 55 fisherman have been reported missing.

The cyclone itself packed winds at around 100 km/hr, and heavy rains hammered the coastal town of Bapatla.

More than 50,000 people from low-lying villages have been evacuated from their homes and put into temporary shelters in schools and government buildings. Authorities have also opened relief camps near the town where the cyclone touched down.

Prior to the cyclone hitting, some parts of the state were pounded with over 30 cm of rain. The strong winds have uprooted trees, downed power lines and blocked roads in several places. More than 1400 villages across six districts were hit with power outages.

Helicopters and rescue crews are on standby to help evacuate and aid in the relief effort by delivering supplies.

For the latest details on this story and other International news, tune into The Weather Network on TV.

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