25,000 leave homes in south India ahead of cyclone

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Associated Press

Posted on November 21, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Updated Thursday, Nov 21 at 10:04 AM

HYDERABAD, India (AP) — An official says about 25,000 people have been evacuated from coastal villages in southern India as a strong cyclone approaches from the Bay of Bengal.

Andhra Pradesh state Revenue Minister Raghvira Reddy says the cyclone is expected to hit four districts of the state on Friday with wind speeds of up to 110 kilometers per hour (68 miles per hour).

The India Meteorological Department said Thursday a storm surge of about up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) and heavy rainfall were expected to flood low-lying areas.

Last month, India's eastern coast was hit by Cyclone Phailin, which killed 25 people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes in Orissa state. The evacuation of about 1 million residents kept the toll from rising higher.

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