Thousands of people have moved to higher ground and schools and colleges have closed as a cyclone roared in the Bay of Bengal toward coastal areas, authorities in southern India have said.
The India Meteorological Department says the cyclone with a wind speed of up to 55 mph is expected to hit the shore later on Wednesday.
It could cause a tide surge of up to 5ft and flood low-lying areas of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh states.
Rain already has started lashing the region.
The meteorological department said on Wednesday that the cyclone is expected to damage thatched huts and uproot trees, knocking out power and communication lines in its path.