3 dead as cyclone Fani hits eastern India

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Local media reports quoted state government officials as saying that while one person died when a tree fell on him, another died on heart attack inside a cyclone shelter, and a woman died when flying debris from a concrete structure hit her.

NEW DELHI, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Three people died in India's eastern state of Odisha as the extremely severe cyclone Fani hit the state on Friday morning and continued till beyond noon.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said over 1,000 crore Indian Rupees (around 143 million U.S. dollars) had been released in advance for the states affected by the cyclone.

The Odisha government has evacuated over 1 million people from the coastal areas to camps on higher grounds. The Indian army, navy, air force, coast guard and disaster management agencies are on stand-by.

A uprooted billboard lies on the ground amid gusty winds in Puri district after Cyclone Fani hit the coastal eastern state of Odisha, India, May 3, 2019. Three people died in India's eastern state of Odisha as the extremely severe cyclone Fani hit the state on Friday morning and continued till beyond noon. A large number of trees and electricity poles were uprooted, and power supply was cut off in many parts of the state. Many areas in Puri of Odisha and other places were submerged as heavy rain battered the coast. (Xinhua/Stringer)

A large number of trees and electricity poles were uprooted, and power supply was cut off in many parts of the state. Many areas in Puri of Odisha and other places were submerged as heavy rain battered the coast.

Strong winds were seen in parts of the southern state Andhra Pradesh and eastern state West Bengal.

The cyclonic storm was said to be weakening gradually.