500,000 Evacuated from India’s East Coast

500,000 people were evacuated from India’s impoverished east coast before a huge cyclone was expected to make landfall early today.

Cyclone Phailin closed in on the impoverished east coast last night, with winds uprooting trees and tearing into flimsy homes.

The storm packed gusts of up to 240 kilometres per hour as it churned over the Bay of Bengal, making it potentially the most powerful cyclone to hit the area since 1999, when more than 8000 died, the Indian weather office said.

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Phailin is about the size of Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans in 2005, and has the wind power of Hurricane Andrew, which devastated southern Florida in 1992.

and meteorologic details at Wunderblog

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