Cyclone Fani made landfall in Odisha’s Puri district on Friday around 9.20 am bringing copious amounts of rain, reports say.
Over one million people in India’s eastern coasts and Bangladesh have already been moved to safer ground as Fani packing winds of up to 225 kilometres is set to destroy everything in its path.
The states of Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh have been put on red alert.
Some 10,000 villages and 52 towns in nine districts of Odisha come in the path of the cyclone. A similar storm that hit Odisha in 1999 had left more than 10,000 dead.
Major airports and ports have been closed and train services suspended in Odisha and West Bengal.
In Kolkata, tourists staying in holiday villages have been warned about the approaching cyclone and told to move to safer ground.
In Odisha, some 3,000 shelters have been set up in schools and government buildings to accommodate those evacuated from coasts. Helicopters are on standby to drop 100,000 dry food packets if needed.
As Fani advances, it will destroy thatched houses, down power and communication lines, uproot trees, flood homes and damage crops in some areas.
In Bangladesh, about 4,000 cyclone shelters have been opened in 19 coastal districts.
In 2017, Cyclone Ockhi left nearly 250 people dead and more than 600 missing in India’s southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.