Cyclone Fani, one of the strongest storms to batter the Indian subcontinent in decades, made landfall near Puri, India, on Friday morning, lashing the coast with winds gusting at more than 120 miles per hour. By Friday evening, the storm was over coastal Odisha, according to India’s Meteorological Department, and was expected to weaken.
Tens of millions of people are potentially in the cyclone’s path, and more than a million were evacuated this week from coastal areas. Large sections of coastal India and Bangladesh are threatened by storm surges, and heavy rains could cause rivers to breach.
The fast-moving storm struck the coast as the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane. Several hours after it made landfall, the cyclone was downgraded to a “very severe” storm from an “extremely severe” storm.