Cyclonic Storm Phethai is currently located in the Bay of Bengal, approximately 300 km (186 mi) east-northeast of Chennai (Tamil Nadu state) as of 18:00 (local time) on Sunday, December 16. According to the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), Phethai is moving in north-northwest at 25 km/h (15 mph) and exhibiting maximum sustained winds of 101 km/h (63 mph).
The latest forecasts indicate Phethai will make landfall in Andhra Pradesh state on Monday, December 17. Officials have issued weather alerts in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha states due to the potential for flash flooding, mudslides, dangerous surf, and high winds. Rainfall totals of 100-200 mm (4-8 in) and wind gusts of up to 80-95 km/h (50-60 mph) are forecast in Andhra Pradesh in the hours after the storm makes landfall. Severe weather, along with associated transportation disruptions and power outages, are to be anticipated through Tuesday, December 18.
Tropical storms and cyclones are common in the Indian Ocean from April to December.
Individuals in the affected areas should monitor local weather reports, confirm travel plans, avoid low-lying areas, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities. Remember that walking or driving through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater and chemical products; all items having come into contact with floodwater should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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