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Page last updated at 07:10 GMT, Friday, 21 May 2010 08:10 UK

Cyclone Laila 'kills 23' in southern India

A woman walks through a flooded street after heavy rains in the southern Indian city of Vishakhapatnam on May 20, 2010
Heavy rains and strong winds have disrupted life in Andhra Pradesh

At least 23 people have died over the last two days as a powerful cyclone caused widespread havoc across the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

Cyclone Laila toppled power lines and landslides and heavy rains stalled transport networks around the state.

The storm is now weakening and is reported to be moving east to neighbouring Orissa state but officials say it can still cause more damage.

More than 50,000 people were evacuated as the storm closed in.

Cyclone Laila made landfall in coastal Andhra Pradesh on Thursday, plunging the area into darkness and battering it with heavy rains and strong winds.

Winds of 100km/h (60mph) uprooted trees and electricity poles and massive waves lashed the coast.

Officials say at least 55 fishermen are reported missing. The army and navy are on high alert.

It is the worst storm to hit Andhra Pradesh in 14 years. In 1977, more than 10,000 people were killed when a cyclone hit Andhra Pradesh.



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