NEW DELHI (AP) — A powerful cyclone slammed ashore today along the coastline of India and Bangladesh, where more than 2.6 million people fled to shelters in a frantic evacuation made all the more challenging by the coronavirus pandemic.
Cyclone Amphan, the equivalent of a category 3 hurricane, was packing winds of up to 105 miles per hour with maximum gusts of 118 mph. Authorities warned it could cause extensive damage to flimsy houses and a storm surge could push seawater 15 miles inland, flooding cities including Kolkata.
Coconut trees swayed wildly, electric poles lay scattered on the roads of Kolkata, rain pounded fishing villages, and rivers surged as the storm battered the coast. “The next 24 hours are very crucial. This is a long haul,” said M. Mohapatra, India’s meteorological chief.
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