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Three killed as cyclone hits West Bengal

Three people were killed in Kolkata today as cyclone Aila crossed the coast into West Bengal. A large number of trees were uprooted, blocking major roads. The three victims, one in north Kolkata and two in the south, were killed by falling trees or house collapses, officials said.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, Kolkata
UPDATED ON MAY 25, 2009 05:25 PM IST

Three people were killed in Kolkata on Monday as cyclone Aila crossed the coast into West Bengal. There was no information from the coastal districts, where extensive damage was feared.

As the cyclone that had formed in the Bay of Bengal hit Kolkata around 11 am on Monday, a large number of trees were uprooted, blocking major roads. The three victims, one in north Kolkata and two in the south, were killed by falling trees or house collapses, officials said.

Weather officials were expecting the wind speed to pick up to 100-120 km per hour as the full fury of the cyclone hits Kolkata by the evening.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said the army had been asked to stand by for rescue operations.

Deputy Commissioner (Detective Department) Javed Shamim told IANS that "boats have been kept ready for emergency evacuation" of people from low lying areas of the city.

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