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India's Cyclone Being Felt on Mount Everest

Power outages, dangerous winds, and 3 deaths reported so far from Fani
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2019 11:15 AM CDT
Motorcycles lie on a street in Puri district after Cyclone Fani hit the coastal eastern state of Odisha, India, on Friday.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Cyclone Fani has made landfall. Per Stuff, the India Meteorological Department said the "extremely severe" cyclone, which threatens more than 100 million people in its path in eastern India, swooped into Odisha state around 8am local time Friday, though it was expected to be downgraded to a "very severe" storm as it progresses north. The severity of the storm, which AccuWeather notes touched down as the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane, was evident throughout the pummeled region, with airport and train closures, downed light poles and trees, and wind gusts exceeding 125mph. CNN reports those winds took down a construction crane and even flipped over a bus (video here).

The Times of India reports at least three people have died so far as a result of the cyclone. The city of Puri was slammed especially hard, with a government official reporting 160 injuries, a complete power outage, and "extensive damage" to huts, older buildings, and temporary shops. Fani is so powerful that it's even affecting climbers on Mount Everest, more than 500 miles away. Stuff notes that climbing expeditions were forced to retreat to lower elevations due to bad weather spurred by the cyclone, including heavy snowfall expected further up the mountain. May is usually the best time of year to climb Everest, and often mountaineers' best hope to reach the summit, though one Sherpa notes there will still be an ample window to climb after Fani passes. (Read more cyclone stories.)

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