Cyclone Phailin powered its way inland over eastern India this week leaving a swathe of destruction but the loss of life appeared limited after more than half a million people sought safety in storm shelters.

Phailin was the strongest storm to hit India in 14 years. Torn branches littered a road running past destroyed huts and twisted electricity poles along a large stretch of the east coast.

More than half a million people in India spent the night in shelters, some built after a storm killed 10,000 people in 1999. Others took refuge in temples.

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