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article imageIndia reels as cyclone toll rises

By Yukio Strachan     Dec 31, 2011 in World
Torrential rains and powerful winds cut down power and communication lines, as a tropical storm thunders through India.
Born off of Indonesia, Cyclone Thane slammed into India's Tamil Nadu southern coast early Friday morning, leaving in its wake 35 dead. It is being called the most vicious storm to lash the city in the last three decades,The Times of India reported.
“At 2 AM, everything started shaking, windows were falling off, glass panes were shattering. As I opened the window of my sea-facing room, I virtually felt the sea on my face,” said journalist Meenakshi Mahadevan, with CNN-IBN.
Packing winds of over 90 miles an hour, Cyclone Thane, uprooted trees, peeled traffic signs from their bases, and ripped apart shop signs, as if paper. Broken shards of glass from street lights and window panes littered the roads already strewn with downed power lines.
India's cyclone season generally lasts from April to December, according to Reuters.
India's Cuddalore district bore the brunt of the storm where 12 persons died in Cuddalore in incidents of wall and tree collapse and electrocution and extreme cold, India's reported. Damaged roads clotted with uprooted trees is making it difficult for rescue teams to reach cyclone battered fishing hamlets.
According to the Times of India, Cuddalore district collector V Amuthavalli said the damages were extensive. "As per preliminary assessment, more than 5,000 houses of fishermen were damaged in the cyclone. Telephone lines were affected. We don't have exact figures of the death toll as of now," she said.
For the residents of Cuddalore, in addition to the physical devestation, is the emotional toll. Cyclone Thane brought back frighting memories of the 2004 Tsunami when giant tidal waves washed away entire villages, leaving thousands dead. Ironically, reports, that had also happened towards the end of December.
More about Cyclone victims, India, Death toll, cyclone thane
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