The armed forces and the coast guard have been placed on full alert as the “extremely severe cyclonic storm” began battering eastern India’s Odisha coast. Gust winds of up to 195 kph were recorded by early Friday morning, India’s Meteorological Department said, as authorities warned of flooding, fallen trees, and large-scale destruction.
Concerned with the storm’s potentially dangerous impact, rescuers rushed to evacuate more than a million people to some 3,000 shelters that are being equipped with food. Medical as well as search and rescue teams also remain on high alert.
Bhubaneswar Airport and Kolkata Airport remain closed while train services to affected areas are canceled. Schools have shut their doors. The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) believes that at least 52 towns and around 10,000 villages in nine districts will be affected. So far there have been no reports on casualties.
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