Cyclone Phailin (pronounced pie-leen) is headed toward the Indian coastline this weekend with disastrous expectations.

The storm was rated as the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane with winds topping 155mph sustained winds and gusts topping 190mph.

The cyclone, which is the same thing as a hurricane, is expected to make landfall along the far northeastern portion of India, on Saturday.

As many as 12 million people may be impacted by Phailin's storm surge and catastrophic wind.  Extensive damage to the "kutcha" houses, which are made of flimsy materials such as mud and bamboo.

A few facts about Phaileen:

  • Lower pressure (stronger) than Katrina, Camille and Ivan
  • Similar physical size as 2005's Hurricane Katrina that hit the U.S.
  • May become strongest cyclone ever to impact India

On twitter, Jeff Masters from Weather Underground stated, "26 of the 35 deadliest tropical cyclones on Earth were Bay of Bengal storms."  That's where Phailin originated. 

Track the cyclone in our Interactive Hurricane Center.