Cyclone Titli: Eastern India battered by deadly storm

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
High winds toppled many trees in Andhra Pradesh

A powerful cyclone has swept into eastern India, leaving at least eight people dead and destroying hundreds of homes.

Cyclone Titli tore into coastal areas of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh states with winds of up to 150km/h (93mph).

About 300,000 people have been evacuated from low-lying districts in Orissa.

Authorities say roads are blocked and power supplies have been lost in many areas.

"We fear that 6,000 to 7,000 electricity poles may have been uprooted," K Dhananjaya Reddy, the district administrative chief of Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh, told Reuters news agency.

"Around 400,000 to 500,000 people are now without electricity."

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Many roads have been blocked by fallen trees in Orissa state

The eight reported deaths were all in Andhra Pradesh. The state's disaster management chief, D Varaprasad, said that shortages of drinking water were a concern in many areas.

Education officials in Orissa said schools and colleges across the state would be closed for the rest of the week.

Those evacuated were accommodated in more than 1,100 cyclone shelters, state officials added.

TV footage from the affected areas showed huge waves crashing on to beaches and trees and power lines being toppled.

India's eastern coast and Bangladesh are routinely hit by cyclonic storms.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh was among the places worst hit by the storm