At least 20 people have lost their lives after Tropical Cyclone Gulab and its remnants brought severe weather and flooding to parts of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra states in India over the last few says.
Tropical Cyclone Gulab made landfall between the coastal states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh on 26 September 2021. Gulab then weakened to a tropical depression as it moved westward and inland.
India’s National Emergency Response Centre (NERC) reported 179,829 people have been affected by Gulab across 1,274 villages in Odisha. As of 28 September, 512 houses were damaged, with the worst damages reported in Koraput and Malkangiri districts. No fatalities were reported however. A total of 46,075 people evacuated costal areas of Odisha in preparation for the oncoming Cyclone Gulab.
In Andhra Pradesh, 3,940 people were evacuated ahead of the storm. As of 28 September, a total of 392 villages were affected in the state, with 156 homes damaged.
Flooding was reported in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam and Kalingapatnam districts due to heavy rain and some storm surge in coastal areas. The city of Vishakhapatnam recorded over 280 mm of rain in 24 hours during the storm. NERC said the Nagavali river in Srikakulam was flowing 0.97 metres above the danger mark as of 28 September.
Disaster authorities reported 6 fatalities in Vizianagaram and Vishakapatnam districts as a result of flooding, building collapse and wind damage. Several fisherman were reported missing at sea.
Tropical depression Gulab then brought heavy rain to parts of Telangana, with Nizamabad district and areas of the state capital Hyderabad badly affected by flooding. Government offices and educational institutions were closed on 28 September 2021.
As of 29 September, 3 flood-related fatalities were reported in the state in the districts of Kamareddy (1) and Vikarabad (1), and in the Amberpet area of Hyderabad where one person was swept away by the swollen Musi River.
As of 29 September, the worst of the flooding in Maharashtra was in Aurangabad division, also referred to as Marathwada region, situated in the southern central part of state along the border with Telangana.
Local authorities said the districts of Aurangabad, Latur, Osmanabad, Parbhani, Nanded, Beed, Jalna and Hingoli have all been affected by excessive rainfall. Dam releases have also caused rivers to rise, in particular the Manjara river in Beed. The Shivana river in Lasur in Aurangabad district was also flowing above the danger mark.
Rain- and flood-related fatalities were reported in the districts of Beed (3), Osmanabad (2), Parbhani (2), Jalna (1), Nanded (1) and Latur (1). The Press Trust of India also reported damage to homes and livestock.
Elsewhere in the state, lightning killed one person in Nashik District and 3 people reportedly died after a bus was swept away as the driver attempted to cross a swollen river in Yavatmal district.
More than 430 people have died in rain-related incidents in the state since 01 June this year according to the state’s Disaster Management Department.
Further heavy rainfall is forecast for Maharashtra and the neighbouring western state of Gujarat over the coming days. Meanwhile a low-pressure area over the Bay of Bengal is likely to bring heavy rainfall to parts of West Bengal state.