Sea 'like a cauldron of boiling water' as cyclone nears

Save the Children said conditions in the densely populated area of Odisha, India, were so bad "the sea was like a cauldron of boiling water" as Cyclone Phailin prepares to make landfall.

A woman carries her baby as she moves to a safer place with others at the village Donkuru in Srikakulam district.
A woman carries her baby as she moves to a safer place with others at the village Donkuru in Srikakulam district. Credit: REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Save the Children spokesman Devendra Tak said: "As we drove towards the coast we passed uprooted trees, damaged houses and towns like ghost towns as most people had been evacuated to cyclone shelters.

A girl runs for shelter in heavy rain brought by Cyclone Phailin in Ichapuram town in Srikakulam district.
A girl runs for shelter in heavy rain brought by Cyclone Phailin. Credit: REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

"When we got to the coast the waves were extremely high - the sea was like a cauldron of boiling water.

Waves crash onto the shore at a fishing harbour in Visakhapatnam district.
Waves crash onto the shore at a fishing harbour in Visakhapatnam district. Credit: REUTERS/R Narendra

"It's getting windier and the rain is increasing hour on hour. The cyclone is about to make landfall any time now and we will begin to know the extent of its damage overnight."

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India evacuations 'saved lives'

Mass evacuations have spared India the widespread deaths many had feared from a powerful cyclone that roared ashore over the weekend, officials said. Nearly one million people were evacuated from the coast ahead of Cyclone Phailin making landfall.