Thousands flee homes as giant cyclone heads towards India

Thousands flee as giant cyclone heads towards India


Thousands of people in India have been forced to flee their homes as a massive cyclone filling most of the Bay of Bengal heads towards the country.

Cyclone Phailin has been categorised as "very severe" by weather forecasters, the BBC reports.

It is expected to hit Orissa and Andhra Pradesh states on Saturday evening.

According to CNN, authorities are shuttling people out of the cyclone's path after a similar cyclone killed thousands of people over a decade ago.

Thousands flee as giant cyclone heads towards India



"We have taken a zero-casualty approach," said Odisha state disaster manager Kamal Lochan Mishra.

"If people do not move, force will be used to evacuate them."

Reuters reports that Cyclone Phailin was about 124 miles offshore by midday Saturday (local time).

Officials say it is on the verge of becoming a "super cyclone" and is expected to affect 12 million people.

Shashidhar Reddy, vice chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, who said more than 440,000 people have already been evacuated, told Reuters: "This is one of the largest evacuations undertaken in India."


Raw: India Villagers Evacuate Ahead of Cyclone
India is not the only country currently experiencing weird weather. In Venice, the Acqua Alta floods have come early. See photos of the flooding in the Italian city below:

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'Acqua Alta' flooding returns to Venice
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Thousands flee homes as giant cyclone heads towards India
Waves crash on the Saint Mark's banks during the first 'Acqua Alta' of the season in October 2013 in Venice, Italy. The high tide, or acqua alta as it is locally known, is a natural event most commonly affecting the city during Autumn and Winter.
A tourist sits at a table of a cafe in Saint Mark's Square gallery during the first 'Acqua Alta' of the season in October 2013 in Venice, Italy.
Tourists and Venetians stand on walkways during the first 'Acqua Alta' of the season in October 2013 in Venice, Italy.
Tourists wear high boots in Saint Mark's Square during the first 'Acqua Alta' of the season in October 2013 in Venice, Italy.
A tourist walks with his luggage along Saint Mark's Square during the first 'Acqua Alta' of the season.
Tourists talk to a shop keeper during the first 'Acqua Alta' of the season.
A delivery man walks with trolley along Saint Mark's Square during the 'Acqua Alta'.
A seagull paddles along empty tables in Saint Mark's Square during the first 'Acqua Alta' of the season.
A delivery man walks with trolley in front of shops in Saint Mark's Square while a boy plays during the 'Acqua Alta'.
A tourist walks in Saint Mark's Square during the first 'Acqua Alta' of the season.
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Weird weather and strange phenomena around the world
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Thousands flee homes as giant cyclone heads towards India

Tornados have been ripping through parts of the USA at an alarming rate during 2011. This example was captured on camera in Limestone County, Alabama, in April. A tornado is a violent, rotating column of air that it is contact with a cumulonimbus cloud and the ground. Also called twisters, they’re characterised by the condensation funnel that touches the earth, and are surrounded by clouds of dust or debris.

On 11 January, 2010, two pranksters decided to drive their car along the frozen Union Canal in Winchburgh, West Lothian, Scotland. Unfortunately for them, the thaw had already started to set in. The canal froze solid during he longest spell of freezing weather in the UK for almost 30 years.

This dust storm engulfed the desert city of Bikaner, in the western Indian state of Rajasthan on 2 April, 2010. The town was already broiling in temperatures of 39C. Dust storms happen when strong wind carries loose sand and dust away from one area and deposits it in another.

This image of the Northern lights was captured in the Takotna, Alaska checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in March 2011. Occurring just within the Arctic and Antarctic circles, the Northern lights – or Aurora borealis, to give them their Latin name – are the light display in the sky caused by the collision of charged particles directed by the Earth's magnetic field.

This impressive rainbow resulted from a spectacular storm and was photographed in Brandon Hill Park near Clifton, Bristol, in the UK on 27 August, 2010. The rainbow seems to rise from the top of Cabot Tower - which is itself 105ft tall - showing its immense scale. Rainbows are an optical phenomenon that occur when the sun shines on to moisture droplets in the atmosphere. 

This set of footprints in freezing rain was snapped in Lexington, Kentucky, USA on 16 December, 2010. Rain that falls and becomes ‘supercooled’ when surface temperatures are below freezing point can freeze on impact with anything it touches, unlike snow which remains only partially frozen. The resulting ice is known as glaze. Freezing rain is one of the deadliest weather conditions, bringing down power line and causing numerous road traffic accidents and personal injury.

This example of smog was pictured hanging over Moscow, on 7 August, 2010, and was caused by the billowing smoke from peat bog and forest fires. Smog was originally a description of the pollution resulting from factory smoke and fog in the 1900s. Today it’s more often caused when sunlight reacts with car exhaust, coal power plants or factory emissions and the compounds released from petrol, paints and solvents.

This crashing wave was caused by the approaching of the Hurricane Earl in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, in August, 2010. Earl battered some islands across the northeastern Caribbean with heavy rain and roof-ripping winds, rapidly intensifying into a major storm on a path projected to menace the United States. Hurricanes are triggered by low pressure areas forming over warm ocean waters.

In March 2011, the 'supermoon' was the closest it had been to earth for18 years lighting up the night sky from just 221,567 miles (356,577 kilometers) away. This snap was taken from Huntington Beach in Los Angeles.

Rainstorms come and go, but not usually as dramatically as this downpour which completely flooded the town of Wuzhou in southwest China on 9 June, 2010, proving that the trusty umbrella isn’t always protection enough...

Ash covered everything for thousands of miles after the eruption of Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano in May 2011 sent clouds of ash high into the air, carrying it toward the European continent on the wind, disrupting flights for the second time in less than a year.

This magnificent lightning strike hit a tower during a thunderstorm in Zurich, Switzerland on 12 August, 2010. Lightning occurs when the balance between the negative charge of storm clouds and the positive charge of the earth is redressed by a current passing between the two - with literally stunning results.

This halo around the sun was photographed  on the island of Spitsbergen in the Arctic Circle on 19 April, 2011. These halos - spectacular and eerie at the same time - are caused by ice crystals in high clouds. They tend to occur during the summer months, during ‘midnight sun’ season in the Arctic and Antarctic Circles.

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