India Evacuates 12,000 People as Cyclone Helen Makes LandfallBibhudatta Pradhan
Cyclone Helen, the second storm to hit India in five weeks, made landfall in southern Andhra Pradesh state today, prompting authorities to evacuate 12,000 people and deploy rescue teams.
At least six districts will be affected by the cyclone, which is packing winds as fast as 120 kilometers (75 miles) an hour, Vinod Kumar Ekbote, additional commissioner of the state’s disaster management department, said by telephone. Falling trees killed two people in Krishna district, Press Trust of India reported, citing officials it didn’t name.
“We are fully prepared and keeping our fingers crossed,” Ekbote said, adding heavy rainfall and some damage is likely. Four helicopters, about 500 people from the National Disaster Management Authority and state government officials are prepared to deal with the situation, he said.
Some 39 people were killed last month by cyclone Phailin, the most powerful tropical storm to hit India’s eastern coast since 1999. Phailin lashed Odisha and adjoining Andhra Pradesh with winds of up to 220 kilometers per hour. India evacuated about 1.2 million people, the largest such effort in the nation’s history, to contain casualties.