The latest update from India says city of Puri has been "totally destroyed" following devastating Cyclone Fani which tore through the region last weekend.
Mr Mark Toohey, Maitland-Newcastle Diocesan Director for Catholic Mission, has heard from colleagues in direct contact with partners in India, where the mission agency supports agriculture, health and education projects.
[A student studies at the Beatrix School, which is now hosting up to 1,000 people displaced by Cyclone Fani]
"We expect that devastation to property will be immense," he said. "Sadly, it seems the poor will be most affected by this disaster."
Among the numerous places responding to the need for crisis food and shelter are project partners such as those at the Karunalaya Leprosy Care Centre in Puri, a coastal town in Odisha.
"Since the cyclonic storm landed on the morning of May 3, Puri has been totally cut off," said Fr Baptist Dsouza, Executive Director of the Karunalaya Leprosy Care Centre in the coastal town popular with tourists.
If you would like to support the people of Puri through the work of Catholic Mission go to:
Main photo: ABC News
Originally published as: Millions escape death in India as Cyclone Fani rips through India and Bangladesh