Laila was the first tropical cyclone of the North Indian oceanic cyclonic season in 2010. It developed in the Bay of Bengal in the middle of May, 2010 and hit the south Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh on 19 May.
Laila was a tropical storm, which meant it had a low pressure area at its centre and it brought along with it strong winds and heavy rains. Such storms are formed over tropical seas when the sun causes the sea water to evaporate. The warm air rises along with the water vapours and this causes the winds to blow from the opposite directions and a cyclone is formed when they meet. Eventually, a big system is built up which can spread up to hundreds of kilometres. These storms weaken when they hit the land because now there is no water which the sun can evaporate to sustain the system.
Cyclone Laila was born about 780 km from the coast of Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The cyclone was initially thought to be a mild storm but it quickly intensified into a severe one. It caused the winds to blow at more than 125 km/h and claimed 15 lives when it hit Indian coastal states.
Laila first hit the town of Bapatla in Andhra Pradesh. It laid waste hundreds of acres of agricultural land and necessitated the evacuation of more than 40,000 people. The cyclone then turned towards the Indian state of Orissa after ravaging several towns of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The Indian Metrological Department quickly pronounced that the cyclone would hit the eastern coast of India and Sri Lanka in the following days. The Indian Metrological Department later said the storm was losing intensity as it was heading towards Orissa