A fierce cyclone has ripped along India’s east coast, killing at least five people and forcing about half a million into overcrowded shelters as the storm threatened to cut a swathe of devastation through farmland and fishing hamlets. A similar storm killed 10,000 people 14 years ago.
Man flees one of largest cyclones ever to strike India where winds could gust to almost 300 kph in east of country
Gusts over land could hit speeds of almost 300 kph in one of the largest cyclones the country has ever seen.
Around 12 million people are expected to be affected, officials said.
Muslims and Hindus gathered at mosques and temples in Odisha state, praying Phailin would not be as devastating as a similar storm that killed 10,000 people 14 years ago.
Families trekked through the rain to shelters, television images showed, as gusts of wind snapped branches from trees. Tourists fled Puri, a popular beach resort.
Officials broadcast cyclone warnings through loudspeakers, radio and television.