Indian relief effort begins amid destruction


Indian disaster teams have begun a relief operation after Cyclone Hudhud pounded the eastern coast, forcing as many as 400,000 people to flee.

Officials are assessing the damage in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa states, where six people have been killed.

The cyclone wrecked homes, uprooted trees and power lines, blocked roads and damaged crops in the two states.

Further heavy rains have been forecast in Orissa, prompting fears of flooding in the wake of the cyclone.

On Sunday the cyclone, classed "very severe", brought winds of 205km/h (127mph), as it passed over the coast near the city of Visakhapatnam.

The storm has now weakened with speeds coming down to 50-70km/h (31-43mph) and rains are forecast in at least four states. It is feared a storm surge of up to 2m could inundate low-lying areas.

Reports say 24 disaster relief teams, 155 medical teams and the navy have been deployed in the affected areas, where hundreds of thousands of people have taken refuge in 223 relief camps.


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