. Cyclone batters India's southeast coast on May 19,
, India ² A severe cyclone packing winds of 110kilometres an hour closed in on India's southeast coast Thursday as tensof thousands of people evacuated their homes fearing major stormdamage.
was expected to hit the state of Andhra Pradesh later inthe day, with forecasters warning of a sea surge and disrupted power andcommunication lines.As heavy rain and strong gales battered the coast, state authorities said atleast 30,000 people had been evacuated from low-lying areas.The armed forces were drafted in to help the evacuation efforts after Andhra Pradesh's chief minister, K.
osaiah, called Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to request extra assistance."We have had no power supply since yesterday,"
amulu, a middle-agedresident of Balajinagar town, told the TV5 local news channel."The municipal authorities are just not bothered about people's plight,"he said. "We have formed our own teams to clear the roads of fallentrees and electric poles."The Indian Meteorological
epartment graded the cyclone as "severe",and said it was due to hit land near the city of Machilipatnam after moving from its current position 100 kilometers (62 miles) off the coastin the Bay of Bengal.The department's latest warning said a "storm surge" of up to two metresabove the regular tide was likely to inundate parts of Andhra Pradesh.