Cyclone Thane kills 16+ in south-east India
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At least 16 people have been killed by winds of up to 140 kilometres per hour in south-east India. Cyclone Thane lashed the coast between Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu state and the former French colony of Pondicherry early on Friday.
Fourteen persons died in Tamil Nadu and two in Pondicherry, according to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), which said the death toll could rise.
Strong winds, heavy rainfall and storm surges led to the collapse of old, rickety
Residents ran for conver and tourists fled Pondicherry as the cyclone hit.
The cyclonic storm later weakened into a depression, weather officials said, adding that early warning systems had reduced the number of casualties.
They predicted "heavy to very heavy" rainfall over places in Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Kerala and Karnataka during the next 24 hours.
Two nuclear power stations at Chennai were functioning normally and had not been affected by the cyclone, officials told NDTV.
India and Bangladesh are regularly hit by cyclones that develop in the Bay of Bengal between April and November.
In 2009, Cyclone Aila killed 300 in southern Bangladesh and destroyed 4,000 kilometres of roads and river embankments, leading to major flooding.
More than 10,000 were killed by a cyclone in India's Andhra Pradesh state in 1977.