Cyclone Phailin is a category 5 storm headed for India. Media reports storm is as powerful as Katrina, and nearly half the size of India.
Cyclone Phailin is forecast to hit the coast between Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh state and Paradip in Odisha state late on Saturday with a maximum wind speed of 220 km per hour (135mph), the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its latest bulletin.
But both London-based Tropical Storm and the U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Centre forecast winds reaching 315 km per hour (195 mph) on landfall, classifying Phailin as a Category 5 storm - the most powerful .
"Phailin is already worse than what the IMD is forecasting. A recent satellite estimate put Phailin’s current intensity on par with 2005’s Hurricane Katrina in the United States,” said Eric Holthaus, meteorologist for Quartz, a U.S.-based online magazine which covers global economy-related issues.
"Everything I know as a meteorologist tells me this is the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane - among the strongest on earth in 2013. That would mean Phailin could be the strongest cyclone ever measured in the Indian Ocean."