Severe cyclone kills 8 in southern India

NEW DELHI: A severe cyclone over the southeast Arabian Sea has triggered heavy rains and strong winds, damaging hundreds of huts, power lines and trees in southern India. At least eight people have been killed in Tamil Nadu and Kerala states since Friday.

Officials say more than 1,000 people have taken shelter in relief centers in Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli districts in Tamil Nadu state.

The India Meteorological Department says heavy rains and strong winds are lashing Lakshasweep, a group of 36 islands, on Saturday.

Krishan Kumar, a relief agency spokesman, says the casualties were mainly caused by falling trees and power lines.

The cyclone is likely to intensify with gusts of up to 175 kilometers (110 miles) per hour then weaken after recurving in the Arabian Sea.