Cyclone Fani makes landfall in Odisha
By Swati Gupta, Helen Regan, Brandon Miller, Meg Wagner and Jessie Yeung, CNN
The strongest tropical cyclone to hit India in 20 years made landfall Friday, killing two people and lashing the country’s east coast with ferocious winds and torrential downpours.
As of 9 a.m. ET, it had been downgraded to a very severe cyclonic storm (down from an extremely severe cyclonic storm) as it moves north-northeast.
Here’s what you need to know about Cyclone Fani:
Where the storm’s going next: Over the next few hours, the storm is expected to weaken as it moves toward Kolkata, one of India’s most populous cities, and Bangladesh.
The victims: Two people were killed by falling trees in the Indian state of Odisha, said police spokesman Sanjeev Panda on Friday.
Evacuations: More than 1 million people evacuated from Odisha alone, with hundreds of cyclone shelters set up along the coast. Mass evacuations are also starting in Bangladesh ahead of the cyclone’s arrival; officials aim to evacuate 2.1 million Bangladeshis by tonight.
Relief and rescue: India’s coast guard and navy deployed ships and helicopters for relief and rescue operations on Friday. Army and air force units are also on standby in vulnerable states. In Bangladesh, 56,000 officials have been deployed for evacuation and rescue operations.
Fani shattered windows at a university, and students caught the moment on video
From CNN’s Gianluca Mezzofiore
Cyclone Fani is so powerful, it broke windows at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology today.
Chowkidar Amritanshu Shandilya, an engineering student at the KIIT, caught the moment on video.
“The storm hit when we were inside the hostel at KIIT. It was a very scary experience but whole hostel staffs were taking well care of students. They were taking all precautions,” he told CNN.
“Trees were blown away from the roots, heavy wind was blowing of around 150 /170 km hr. It was scary experience but also somehow exciting as we are students.”
Here’s the footage: