Powerful cyclone headed for India
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 5/02/19, 12:14 pm
Indian authorities on Thursday started to evacuate hundreds of thousands of people from villages along the country’s eastern coast ahead of a strong storm. Cyclone Fani is expected to make landfall early Friday with winds of up to 124 mph and heavy rainfall, according to the Indian Meteorological Department. Authorities worry the storm could become the strongest since 1999, when a cyclone killed about 10,000 people after raging through the eastern coastal areas of the state of Odisha.
The National Disaster Management Authority advised fishermen to avoid deep waters. In Odisha, special relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi said officials were set to evacuate about 880,000 people. Authorities already opened more than 800 shelters, and tourists departed the state’s beach town of Puri by train. “We’ve been preparing plans for the last few days to ensure that all the people who are vulnerable will be shifted to our cyclone centers,” Sethi said.
India usually experiences strong storms between April and November. Forecasters said the cyclone also will likely hit the Bangladeshi port city of Cox’s Bazar, where more than 1 million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, also known as Burma, reside in camps.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.