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11 people dead as tropical storm hits Indian Coast

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At least 11 people have died as a severe tropical storm hit the Coast of South-eastern India on Friday.

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Cyclone Gaja hit the coast of Tamil Nadu in the early hours of Friday, bringing with it winds of up to 120 kilometres per hour and heavy rainfall, an Indian Meteorological Department Bulletin said.

Gaja means elephant in the Hindi language.

Trees and electricity poles were uprooted and houses damaged across the coastal region of Tamil Nadu, NDTV news channel reported.

According to initial reports at least 11 people had died, mostly in house collapses, a spokesman for the Tamil Nadu Disaster Management Authority said.

The death toll could go up as reports from different areas come in.

As a precautionary measure as many as 81,948 people had been evacuated from low-lying areas along the coast before the cyclone made landfall and relocated to more than 400 temporary shelters.

Power supply has been suspended since Thursday evening in three coastal districts.

The cyclonic storm had weakened and was moving westward across the Indian peninsula towards the Arabian Sea, according to a fresh weather bulletin. (dpa/NAN)

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