At least eight people have died as Cyclone Fani barreled into Odisha this morning, uprooting trees and electricity poles, and cut off power supply in many parts of the state. Large areas in the temple town of Puri and other places were submerged as heavy rain battered the coast, according to officials. The cyclonic storm - the strongest cyclone in India in 20 years - is weakening gradually, moving towards West Bengal. The Odisha government has evacuated over 11 lakh people, including at least 600 pregnant women, to camps on higher grounds. "I assure the affected people that the nation and the centre are with them," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a rally in Rajasthan. He said over Rs. 1,000 crore had been released in advance for the states affected by Cyclone Fani.