The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued tropical cyclone alerts for Odisha and Andhra Pradesh for Thursday, September 20, through Friday, September 21. According to IMD, as of Thursday evening (local time) a depression moving northwest over the Bay of Bengal is forecast to intensify into a tropical cyclone over the next 12 hours, bringing torrential rains and winds of up to 70 km/h (44 mph) to the area. Heavy rainfall is also expected to affect Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Telangana, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh through Saturday, September 22. Flash flooding, landslides, interruptions in telecommunications, and transportation disruptions are possible in the coming hours and days.
India experiences severe rain during the monsoon season (June to October). Monsoon rains frequently cause flooding, landslides, population evacuations and transportation disruptions. Flooding from monsoon rains has killed over 1200 people in six states this year. As of September 20, at least 488 people have died from flooding in Kerala. Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have also experienced deadly floods with 256 and 210 deaths, respectively. Karnataka, Assam, and Uttarakhand have seen 170, 50, and 37 deaths from flooding in each of the respective states.
Individuals present in the affected states are advised to keep abreast of local weather forecasts, expect transportation disruptions, and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities. Please be advised that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all food discarded.