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COLOMBO: Sri Lanka lifted an evacuation order as a cyclone heading toward the island changed course early yesterday and headed toward neighbouring India, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said.
Thousands of people living within 500 metres (550 yards) from the coast were asked to move inland, but instead of making landfall the cyclone changed direction towards the south Indian coast of Tamil Nadu, said the DMC.
“Although we did not suffer the full impact, there was a storm surge and in some places the waves were three metres (10 feet) higher than normal,” DMC director Sarath Lal Kumara said. There were no reports of casualties.
The local meteorological department said a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal had caused the cyclone, with wind speeds of up to 80 kilometres (50 miles) an hour.
However, when the cyclone was within 100 kilometres from Sri Lanka’s northeastern coast, it had changed direction and headed towards India. Heavy winds and rain killed 19 people in the island’s south in November last year.
Meanwhile, the one-off Twenty20 international between Sri Lanka and New Zealand was abandoned due to rain in Pallekele yesterday.
The hosts, chasing a rain-revised target of 72 runs off 14 overs, were six for no loss after two overs when play was called off. Dilshan Munaweera was unbeaten on four and Tillakaratne Dilshan on two not out. AFP