Authorities in the Indian southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh evacuated more than 300-thousand people to safety as a powerful cyclone, moving towards its coast, claimed its first two victims.
Officials in the state capital Hyderabad said, Wednesday, one person was killed in a house collapse and the other was crushed under an uprooted tree as strong winds swept the coast ahead of the storm.
India battened down the hatches in advance of yet another cyclone heading towards its southern eastern coast.
Packing up the few belongings they could carry thousands of people had to leave their homes and head for safety.
Temporary accommodation was provided for those who had to leave their homes to the mercy of the oncoming storm.
On Wednesday, the cyclone was believed to be brewing 120 kilometres (75 miles) southeast of Machlipatnam town in the Bay of Bengal, and was expected to hit the coast in the night.
Machlipatnam is 350 kilometres (218 miles) southeast of the state capital, Hyderabad.
In Hyderabad meteorological experts kept a close watch on the developing situation.
It's thought the cyclone is being driven by winds of up to 200 kilometres (125 miles) an
hour and accompanied by a three-metre-high (10-foot-high) tidal wave.
Experts believe the storm could be so devastating that for the first time in the states history they are evacuating large numbers of people.
"But this will be the first time in Andhra Pradesh history there will be (words unclear) people just before the cyclonic storm. So this has been warranted because of the gravity of the situation, the intensity of the storm, because right now since morning five o' clock it's been declared a hurricane storm, with a wind speed of between 150-185 kilometres per hour."
SUPER CAPTION: Hari Shanker Brahama of the Andhra Pradesh State Relief Commission
The approaching cyclone could be stronger than the one that battered the same area on November 6, killing more than 1,000 people, the weather office said.
The November 6 storm damaged more than 400-thousand houses, flattened mango and coconut groves and flooded hundreds of thousands of acres (hectares) of rice paddies.
Crop and property damage was then in the hundreds of millions of dollars -- this latest cyclone will push that damage bill even higher.