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Why 800K Are Being Evacuated: Fani's Coming

Tropical cyclone has more than 100 million people in its path in eastern India
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2019 9:45 AM CDT
Cyclone Fani is pictured in the Bay of Bengal on Thursday.   (Indian Meteorological Department via AP)

(Newser) – A tropical cyclone is tracking over the Bay of Bengal en route to eastern India, where more than 100 million people stand in its path. Cyclone Fani, currently an extremely severe cyclonic storm with winds equal to those of a Category 4 hurricane, is expected to hit the state of Odisha on Friday, perhaps as a super cyclonic storm with winds equal to a Category 5 hurricane, per AccuWeather. It's expected to then move northeast, weakening into a tropical rainstorm by Sunday. More than 800,000 people are being evacuated, including 100,000 in the city of Puri, home to one of Hinduism's holiest temples, per the BBC and Guardian.

Some areas could see 20 inches of rain, per AccuWeather, which warns of potentially life-threatening flooding and mudslides. The National Disaster Management Authority has also warned of the "total destruction of thatched houses" and "extensive damage" to other structures, per the BBC. Coastal camps hosting Rohingya refugees are on alert, though they're outside of the cyclone’s expected path. More than 850 shelters have been opened and will house up to 1 million people if needed. (Read more cyclone stories.)

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