Catastrophic, Katrina-sized storm heads for India - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Catastrophic, Katrina-sized storm heads for India

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

A large and powerful storm in the Bay of Bengal threatens the eastern coast of India. Tropical Cyclone Phailin, a giant storm that fills nearly the entire Bay of Bengal, part of the Indian Ocean.

This storm is packing sustained winds of over 160 mph, with gusts of up to 195 mph. That's the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

The India Meteorological Department expects a storm surge of 3-3.5 meters (12-14 feet) along parts of India's east coast. Additionally 25 cm (nearly 10 inches) of rain is forecast as the storm makes landfall early Saturday morning.

Tens of thousands of people are being evacuated from coastal areas before the storm hits.

Of the 35 deadliest tropical cyclones in recorded history, 26 have impacted the Bay of Bengal.

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