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Cyclone Fani hits India’s eastern coast

Powerful Cyclone Fani lashed coastal areas of eastern India on Friday (May 3) with torrential rain and winds gusting up to 200 kilometres per hour (124 mph), but there were no early reports of casualties.

Having spent days building up power in the northern reaches of the Bay of Bengal, the tropical cyclone finally struck the coast of Odisha state at around 8 am local time (0320 GMT), the India Meteorological Department said.

Odisha had evacuated more than a million people from the most vulnerable communities along the low-lying coast, according to the state’s chief minister. The cyclone uprooted trees and electricity poles in the state capital, Bhubaneswar. The airport, schools, and colleges in the state were also ordered to shut.

India’s cyclone season can last from April to December when severe storms batter coastal cities and cause widespread deaths and damage to crops and property in both India and neighboring Bangladesh.

(Production: ANI, Mark Ho)

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