Cyclone Fani hits India's east coast; 1.2 million evacuated

Cyclone Fani hits India's east coast; 1.2 million evacuated
Street shops are seen collapsed due to gusty winds preceding the landfall of cyclone Fani on the outskirts of Puri, in the Indian state of Odisha, Friday, May 3, 2019. Indian authorities have evacuated hundreds of thousands of people along the country's eastern coast ahead of a cyclone moving through the Bay of Bengal. Meteorologists say Cyclone Fani was expected to make landfall on Friday with gale-force winds of up to 200 kilometers (124 miles) per hour likely starting Thursday night. It warned of "extremely heavy falls" over parts of the state of Odisha and its southern neighbor Andhra Pradesh. (AP Photo)

NEW DELHI (AP) — Cyclone Fani has made landfall on India’s eastern coast as a grade 5 storm, lashing the emptied beaches with rain and wind gusting up to 205 kilometers (127 miles) per hour.

The India Meterological Department says the “extremely severe” cyclone in the Bay of Bengal hit the coastal state of Odisha around 8 a.m. on Friday.

India’s National Disaster Response Force says around 1.2 million people have been evacuated from low-lying areas of Odisha and moved to nearly 4,000 shelters.

Odisha Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi says communications have been disrupted in some areas, but no deaths or injuries have been reported.

Fani is the fiercest storm since 1999, when a cyclone killed around 10,000 people and devastated large parts of Odisha.