More than 500,000 of people who were evacuated before Cyclone Phailin crashed into eastern India have begun returning to their homes.
However, many will remain in shelters as their homes and businesses were wrecked by the strongest cyclone in 14 years.
As the storm weakened a vast relief operation got under way in Orissa and Andhra Pradesh states, where officials say up to one million were displaced.
Mass evacuations managed to keep the death toll to a bare minimum.
Officials said 22 people were killed – all but one of the deaths were in Orissa.
The cyclone flattened many coastal homes, uprooted trees and blocked roads in the two states but the evacuation effort – described by officials as “the biggest in India’s history for such an event” – ensured the death toll remained low.
More than 500,000 of people who were evacuated before Cyclone Phailin crashed into eastern India have begun returning to their homes
Correspondents say before Cyclone Phailin hit, the authorities moved – sometimes forcibly – nearly one million people into temporary shelters set up in schools and government buildings.
The move has earned the Indian authorities rare praise for their preparedness.
In 1999 a cyclone killed more than 10,000 people in Orissa.
The authorities have promised that power and road access would be restored in the state by Monday evening, except in the worst-hit Ganjam district.
The massive storm made landfall on Saturday evening, with winds of about 125mph.
It began weakening on Sunday as it made its way north-west.
But the intense storm has made more than half-a-million people homeless, state government officials said.
The storm tore down power and communication lines and knocked out road and rail links, making an assessment difficult.
An estimated 5,000 sq km of mostly paddy crops have been destroyed, causing a loss of some $320 million.
Meanwhile, 28 sailors, who went missing after their ship sank in the cyclone, have been rescued from the Bay of Bengal, a defense spokesman said.
Cyclone Phailin has hammered eastern India overnight, bringing down power lines, ripping up trees and sending seawater surging inland.
Almost 500,000 people have been evacuated from the path of Cyclone Phailin in Orissa state and neighboring Andhra Pradesh.
The massive storm made landfall on Saturday, packing winds of up to 125 mph.
Five deaths have so far been linked to the cyclone.
In 1999 a cyclone killed more than 10,000 people in Orissa, although authorities say they are better prepared this time.
At daybreak on Sunday there was an anxious wait to see the extent of the damage.
Communications are down in many areas with road and rail links closed, making an assessment even more difficult.
The Times of India reported that a storm surge more than 9 ft high had inundated areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts of Orissa and the Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh.
Cyclone Phailin has hammered eastern India overnight, bringing down power lines, ripping up trees and sending seawater surging inland
In the Orissa state capital of Bhubaneshwar, government workers and volunteers were assembling hundreds of thousands of food packages for relief camps.
Bhubaneswar shop owner Susil Kumar Singh was one of only a few traders keeping his store open.
“Everyone’s in trouble so I’ve kept my shop open to help them,” he told AFP news agency.
“Right now, there’s no drinking water and trees are falling down all around.”
Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik appealed for calm.
“I request everyone to not panic,” he said.
“Please assist the government. Everyone from the villages to the state headquarters has been put on alert.”
The Indian Army’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said 1,200 troops had been sent to Orissa and 500 to Andhra Pradesh.
“As soon as the fury of the cyclone abates our boys will start their work,” NDRF director general Krishna Chaudhary told reporters.
“The teams have medical first responders (for first aid) and heavy cutting equipment. In the case of cyclones there is a likelihood of collapsed buildings.”
Up to 10in of rain is predicted for Orissa and the north coast of Andhra Pradesh throughout Sunday and Monday, forecasters said.
In the coastal town of Gopalpur, hundreds of terrified residents spent the night huddled in shelters, schools and public buildings.
Witnesses reported seeing shards of glass and asbestos sheets flying through the air as the cyclone struck.
Store signs and other debris were being pitched high in the air by storm gusts and elaborate decorations for a major Hindu festival were strewn over the main road.
Officials had earlier said that no-one would be allowed to stay in mud and thatched houses along the coast of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh states, but some residents said they wanted to stay put.
“Many people refused to move, had to be convinced, and at times the police had to forcefully move them to safe places,” said Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.