Thirty-one killed by cyclone in India

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At least 31 people have died after a cyclone demolished thousands of mud huts and uprooted trees in a cluster of villages in eastern India, an official said today.

Civil defence minister Srikumar Mukherjee said the cyclone struck last night in North Dinajpur district of West Bengal state, snapping telephone links and electricity supply to the area.

Mr Mulkherjee said hundreds of other people were injured in the region, nearly 315 miles (500km) north-east of Calcutta, the capital of West Bengal state.

He told the Associated Press that the worst-hit villages were Hematabad, Raiganj and Kiran Dighi, where police have recovered 31 bodies.

He said the cyclone demolished nearly 50,000 mud huts, adding that rescue and relief teams have reached the area.