Mass Evacuations In India Over Impending "Super Cyclone" Blast.
Nearly 600,000 people have fled to storm shelters after Indian authorities issued a red alert and warned of major damage when one of the largest cyclones the country has ever seen bore down on its east coast Saturday. Officials canceled holy day celebrations and stockpiled emergency supplies in coastal Orissa and Andhra Pradesh states, with forecasters saying Cyclone Phailin, is expected to affect 12 million people. Fears have been sparked after a deadly super-cyclone in 1999 killed more than 10,000 people in Orissa. "This is one of the largest evacuations undertaken in India," said Shashidhar Reddy, vice chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, who estimated that more than 440,000 people had been evacuated. But the size of the storm made extensive damage to property more likely, he told Reuters news agency. "Our priority is to minimise loss of life." CONTINUE