Powerful cyclone Phailin heads for India's east coast
NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - A powerful cyclone intensified on Friday and was heading towards India's east coast, authorities said, forecasting a risk to life and extensive damage to property when it makes landfall in 36 hours.
Satellite images showed the storm in the Bay of Bengal to be about half the size of India.
Cyclone Phailin is expected to hit between Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh state and Paradip in Odisha state on Saturday evening as a very severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 205-215 km per hour, the India Meteorological Department said in a bulletin at 2330 GMT (7.30am Singapore time).
London-based storm tracking service Tropical Storm Risk described Phailin as a Category 4 storm, one notch below the most powerful Category 5 storms.