Severe cyclone kills 10 in southern India; 80,000 evacuated


A severe cyclone has unleashed heavy rains and winds of 90 kilometers (55 miles) per hour, killing at least 10 people in southern India.

Narendra Kumar, an official of the National Disaster Response Force, says Cyclone Gaja hit coastal areas of Tamil Nadu state early Friday, toppling trees and electric poles and damaging homes.

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More than 80,000 people have been evacuated from low-lying areas into more than 470 relief centers in six districts. Thousands of fishermen have been warned to stay away from the sea.

The disaster agency says the cyclone is weakening. Tamil Nadu state is prone to cyclones that develop in the Bay of Bengal.