International
Satellite image obtained courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows Tropical Cyclone Fani intensifying in the Bay of Bengal on May 1, 2019. (NOAA)

India prepares for 'extremely severe' Bay of Bengal cyclone

NEW DELHI (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated along India's eastern coast on Thursday as authorities braced for a cyclone moving through the Bay of Bengal that was forecast to bring extremely severe wind and rain.

The India Meteorological Department in New Delhi said 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.

India's National Disaster Management Authority forecast "high to phenomenal" sea conditions for most of the Indian states along the Bay of Bengal. Fishermen were advised not to venture into deep waters. A 1.5-meter (4.9-foot) storm surge was expected to inundate low-lying areas.

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