VIDEO: Millions evacuated as powerful cyclone hit India

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A powerful cyclone Friday lashed coastal areas of eastern India with torrential rain and winds gusting up to 200km an hour forcing millions to look for shelters elsewhere.

Clouds loom in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam city before Cyclone Fani’s landfall in neighbouring Odisha state

“I can confirm two deaths for now. One old man in one of the shelters died because of [a] heart attack. Another person went out in the storm despite our warnings and died because a tree fell on him,” Odisha state special relief commissioner Bishnupada Sethi told AFP news agency on Friday.

Trees blocked roads and downed electricity lines in Bhubaneswar, Odisha

Indian Railways said more than 200 trains were cancelled along coastal routes. Thousands of people fleeing the cyclone were faced with a long wait at the railway stations.

Stranded passengers rest at a railway station after trains between Kolkata and Odisha were cancelled

Neighboring West Bengal also decided to close an airport at Kolkata, the state capital.

Ferocious: Trees bend in the huge winds of Cyclone Fani as rain batters an abandoned home on the outskirts of Puri, after the storm made landfall on India’s east coast this morning

“We are not able to know what’s happening outside. There’s darkness everywhere,” Jyotirmayee Panda, a resident of Puri in Odisha, said.

Motorcycles lie on a street in Puri district after Cyclone Fani hit the coastal eastern state of Odisha, India, Friday, May 3, 2019.

“We can only hear the sound caused by roofs being blown away and poles and trees hitting the ground. That is quite scary. The wind is picking up speed and water is now entering our homes. We are unable to cook and just god will save us.”

Damaged structures and uprooted tress lie along a road in Puri district after Cyclone Fani hit the coastal eastern state of Odisha, India, Friday, May 3, 2019.

“We don’t know how long we have to wait here. We were not prepared for this kind of situation. We need food and a safe shelter,” said Deepak Mohanty, a passenger at Bhubaneswar railway station.

 

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