As cyclone "Amphan" hurtled towards the coast, heavy downpour coupled with high velocity winds pounded coastal Odisha, uprooting trees and flattening fragile structures, officials said on Wednesday.
More than 1.25 lakh people have so far been evacuated from low-lying coastal areas and the process of evacuation was still underway in some places like Balasore on Wednesday morning, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), P K Jena, said.
Intense rainfall was recorded in several areas of Puri, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Ganjam, Ganjam, Bhadrak and Balasore districts since Tuesday, officials said.
A report from Bhadrak district said many trees and electric poles were uprooted in the district under the impact of gusty winds and heavy downpour, blocking roads in several areas.
Heavy downpour accompanied by gusty wind also lashed Kendrapara where district administration has evacuated 38,000 people from vulnerable seaside pockets to the safety of multi-purpose cyclone shelter buildings.
Reports of trees and electric poles being uprooted and 'kutcha ' houses being blown away are coming in from various parts of the district. However, there has been no major damage to life and property so far.
Amphan is considered to be the second major cyclonic storm in the Bay of Bengal after the Super Cyclone of 1999 which had claimed around 10,000 lives and inflicted large scale devastation in Odisha.
The cyclone comes a year after Fani barreled through vast parts of Odisha on May 3, claiming at least 64 lives and destroying power, telecom and other vital infrastructure.