Cyclone Fani kills at least 15 as it moves to Bangladesh

Beach in Puri region with people looking at the incoming storm

Trees were uprooted and power and phone lines snapped as the storm made landfall on the eastern state of Odisha after it spent days building up power in the northern reaches of the Bay of Bengal, the India Meteorological Department said.

Eastern India is regularly buffeted by cyclones off the Bay of Bengal, with 10,000 people killed in Odisha alone in 1999, mostly from a storm surge bringing flooding and debris many miles inland.

Cyclone Fani felled trees and power lines as it struck the state of Odisha at 3.30am BST (8am local time) on Friday, where more than a million people were evacuated beforehand.

Odisha Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi says communications have been disrupted in some areas, but no deaths or injuries have been reported.

Widespread power outages, damaged water supplies and roads blocked by fallen trees and power lines have made transport around the affected area hard, officials said.

Footage taken from an Indian navy aircraft showed extensive inundation in areas around Puri, with wide swathes of land submerged. The state was hit by a super cyclone in 1999 with wind speeds that were estimated to have reached a maximum 270 kilometres an hour, leaving nearly 10,000 people dead.

Several hundred thousand people were told to evacuate coastal areas of West Bengal before the arrival of Fani ("snake" in Bengali), with 5,000 leaving the low-lying areas and old, dilapidated buildings of Kolkata, home to 4.6 million people.

At least six people died in Bhubaneswar, Odisha's state capital, where fallen trees blocked roads and electricity supply was still to be fully restored.

Orissa and neighbouring states are still on high alert. "Stay safe Odisha!", his tweet read.

A mass evacuation of 1.2 million people in the 24 hours before the tropical cyclone made landfall averted a greater loss of life.

Cyclone season in the North Indian basin typically runs from April to December, with activity peaking in May and November, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

AAI official said that a total of 59 flights including arrival and departure have been cancelled from Guwahati airport while Agartala airport had to cancel eight flights. "It is a panic situation", Anuradha Mohanty, a Bhubaneswar resident, told Reuters.

Neighboring West Bengal state escaped substantial damage, but authorities moved almost 42,000 people to safer locations.

Four more people died on Saturday, and more than a million had been moved to safety.

He said chief minister Naveen Patnaik has already spoken to Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu and he is sending some people and equipments to expedite the operation.

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