Katrina-Sized Cyclone Phailin Headed for India

250 km/h of sustained winds threatens to wreak havoc at landfall

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Biswaranjan Rout / AP Photo

Indian fishermen sort their fishing nets after they return with their catch on the Bay of Bengal coast at Puri, Odisha state, India, Thursday, Oct.10, 2013.

Cyclone Phailin, moving northwest through the Bay of Bengal, has intensified and threatens catastrophic damage when it hits India’s eastern coast on Saturday afternoon.

Phailin has grown to the size of Hurricane Katrina, with maximum sustained winds of at least 250 km/h, making it a Category 5 hurricane.

The Bay of Bengal has produced 26 of the 35 deadliest tropical cyclones in history. When Category 4 cyclone Odisha made landfall in 1999, on a similar course as Phailin, it claimed 15,000 lives.

[Washington Post]