Powerful storm slams into eastern India coast

Street shops are seen collapsed due to gusty winds ahead of 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)

A powerful cyclone has slammed into India’s eastern coastline, bringing torrential rains and winds of up to 200 km/h (125mph).

Cyclone Fani, one of the most severe storms to hit the region in recent years, made landfall at 08:00 local time (02:30 GMT) on Friday.

More than one million people have been evacuated from the eastern state of Orissa, also called Odisha.

A state official said two people had been killed.

Flooding has also been reported in several areas, and forecasters say a storm surge of 1.5m (5ft) could threaten low-lying homes.

The cyclone made landfall in the tourist town of Puri, which is home to the 858-year-old Jagannath temple.

It is expected to hit 15 districts in Orissa, one of India’s poorest states, before weakening on Saturday.

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