India is expected to suffer catastrophic impacts from Severe Tropical Cyclone Phailin in less than 12 hours. Destructive winds well over 160 kph (100 mph) and flooding rain of at least 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) is expected across a wide area. There will be a crippling storm surge of 4-6 meters (14-20 feet), as well as wind gusts to 250 kph, near the landfall point of Phailin which is expected across northeastern India Saturday morning EDT.
Latest Update as of 04:00am e.s.t
* Extensive damage expected to kutcha houses, some damage to old buildings.
* Large scale disruption of power and communication lines.
* Disruption of rail and road traffic due to extensive flooding.
* Potential threat from flying debris.
* Flooding of escape routes.
* Extensive damage to agricultural crops.
* Mobilise evacuation from coastal areas.
* Judicious regulation of rail and road traffic.
* People in affected areas to remain indoors during cyclone landfall.
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Srikakulam: As many as 52,000 locals were today evacuated and 25,000 people accommodated in cyclone shelters in Srikakulam district in view of Cyclone Phailin which is expected to cross the shore by this evening.
Cyclone Phailin forces tens of thousands to flee northeast India
Cyclone Phailin, the most powerful storm to take aim at northeastern India since 1999, forced the evacuation of tens of thousands along the Bay of Bengal coastline as it threatened to flood escape routes, disrupt rail service and cut off power for weeks.
Phailin, which means “sapphire” in Thai, has winds of 135 mph and was expected to make landfall about 6 p.m. local time Saturday, according to L.S. Rathore, director-general of the India Meteorological Department. The U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii estimated Phailin’s top winds at 161 mph, a Category 5 on the U.S. hurricane scale, which is different than the one used by the rest of the world. Hurricane Andrew in 1992, was a Category 5 storm.
Phailin sent at least 64,000 people fleeing from their homes and forced ships out of its path, and is expected to cause crop and infrastructure damage. Twenty-six of the world’s 35 deadliest tropical cyclones, the storms that include hurricanes and typhoons, have occurred in the Bay of Bengal
So at this hour, thankfully there has been significant information and time to make preparations for the potential catastrophic natural disaster. However, certainly there will be a lot of infrastructure damage that will rise into the billions of dollars. As thousands flee the coastal area, there is still fear that many may not have had the time or means to evacuate.