Major Cyclone Hits Indian Coast

    Fishermen tie their boat along the shore before leaving for a safer place at Donkuru village in Srikakulam district, in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh October 12, 2013. Rain and wind lashed India's east coast on Saturday, forcing more than 400,000 people to flee to storm shelters as one of the country's largest cyclones closed in, threatening to cut a wide swathe of devastation through farmland and fishing hamlets. Filling most of the Bay of Bengal, Cyclone Phailin was about 200 km (124 miles) offshore by noon on Saturday, satellite images showed, and was expected to hit land by nightfall. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi (INDIA - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT) - RTX148T7

    Adnan Abidi/Reuters

    A severe cyclone whacked the east coast of India Saturday evening, forcing some 800,000 people to evacuate their homes. At least five people have been reported dead already. Cyclone Phailin is expected to surge to at least 10 feet and cause “extensive damage” to coastal mud houses. People were asked to leave mud houses and fishermen were warned to stay out of the sea. The last time a deadly cyclone hit the same area was in 1999, and more than 10,000 people were killed, but Indian officials say they are more prepared now.

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