Cyclone Phailin arrives in India, putting 12 million at risk
Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 01:36
Oct. 12 - Winds and storm surge from Cyclone Phailin are battering India's east coast where officials have evacuated hundreds of thousands of residents. Nathan Frandino reports.
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The waves are getting bigger.
The winds are getting stronger.
And hundreds of thousands in India are bracing for Cyclone Phailin.
The Category 5 storm barreled through the Bay of Bengal and is expected to make landfall in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh Saturday evening.
Meanwhile, officials say they're ready to respond.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) INDIA'S CABINET SECRETARY, AJIT KUMAR SETH SAYING:
"All the wings of government, including the NDRF (National Disaster Response Force), the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, the Coast Guard and other departments whether its railways or power or water resources or health, they are all, I think, geared up to ensuring that every measure that can be put into place for ensuring the safety and security of the affected population is put into place."
The storm is already packing winds of at least 220 kilometers, or 137 miles, per hour.
Authorities are expecting storm surge levels to top nearly three-and-a-half meters, or 11 feet.
In Odisha, one of the states expected to be hit hardest, thousands are packed into temporary shelters.
(SOUNDBITE)(Oriya) REVENUE MINISTER OF INDIA'S EASTERN ODISHA STATE, SURYANARAYAN PATRA, SAYING:
"We are aiming at zero casualties. We've been evacuating people since yesterday evening from all the coastal districts of the state. The administrators were present and they've alerted the people of the impeding dangers."
As night falls the cyclone is already being felt in parts of the country.
It's expected to be one of the biggest storms to hit the country in more than a decade with authorities saying some 12 million people are at risk.
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