A 'one-in-20-year' event: Almost one million people forced out of home ahead of Cyclone Fani

Fishing boats seen at the Konark beach of Puri district being taken in in preparation for the storm.
Fishing boats seen at the Konark beach of Puri district being taken in in preparation for the storm. Photo credit: Getty Images.

More than 800,000 people are evacuating ahead of what is believed to be a one-in-20-year storm expected to hit India on Friday (local time).

Category 4 Cyclone Fani will likely bring gale-force winds of up to 200kph to the area around the Bay of Bengal and is forecast to cause destruction to thatched-roof huts and infrastructure and flood farmlands and orchards.

The storm is one of the most intense in 20 years for the region, according to The World Meteorological Organisation. 

The state of Odisha is expectd to be hit the hardest.

"High to phenomenal" sea conditions have been projected for the Bay of Bengal and fishermen have been told not to go out on the water.

Fishing boats were seen at the Konark beach of Puri district ashored by fisherman a after Cyclone Fani alert to landfall on Bay of Bengal Sea's eastern coast beach. 

It could also be worse than a 1999 storm which killed roughly 10,000 people and devastated large parts of the country.

The military, navy and coast guard have been put on high alert and more than 800 shelters have been opened. Around 100,000 food packets are ready to be air-dropped.

Rescue and relief teams have been sent to flood-prone areas and local islands.

Newshub.

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