India orders evacuation of millions threatened by cyclone


India has begun evacuating thousands of people and halted port operations as a severe cyclone Amphan barrels towards its east coasts.

The cyclone, expected to make landfall on Wednesday, piles pressure on emergency services grappling with the coronavirus pandemic.

The states of Odisha and West Bengal sent disaster management teams to move families from homes of mud and thatch to places of shelter from the storm.

Authorities at the port of Paradip in Odisha ordered ships to move out to sea to avoid damage as the cyclone formed over the Bay of Bengal was likely to intensify into a super cyclonic storm.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting in New Delhi, the capital, to plan how to mitigate damage and injuries.

Also, Bangladesh plans to evacuate about two million residents from low-lying areas in the country, warning that cyclone could become the worst storm to hit the region since Cyclone Sidr in November 2007, which killed more than 3,000 people.

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