Southern India braces for tropical storm
CHENNAI, India (AP) -- More than 100,000 people were evacuated from their homes Wednesday as a tropical storm approached southern India from the Bay of Bengal, officials said.
Rain was already lashing the region and strong winds uprooted trees in some places. Weather officials said the storm, with wind speeds of up to 100 kilometers (60 miles) per hour, was expected to reach land later Wednesday.
A storm surge of up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) could flood low-lying areas of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh states, the India Meteorological Department said.
Authorities in Tamil Nadu state turned 282 schools into relief centers in the state capital, Chennai. The city's port halted cargo operations, but berthing of ships was continuing, the Press Trust of India news agency said. Twenty-three ships were moved to safer areas.
About 150,000 people were moved to shelters in Nellore district in Andhra Pradesh state, district official B. Sridhar said.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)