Officials report that heavy rain and consequent severe flooding across several northern states have resulted in the death of at least 144 people between Friday, September 27, and Tuesday, October 1. Affected states include Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar, and Punjab. Flooded infrastructure has affected schools, transport, healthcare, and power services. In part of Patna (Bihar state), electricity and phone connection telecommunication services have been cut since Monday, September 30.
This year monsoons have already delivered ten percent more rain than the average and are expected to withdraw one month later than usual, making this year the heaviest rainfall in 25 years. According to authorities, 1673 people have been killed nationwide by heavy rain and flooding since June as of Sunday, September 29.
India's Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast thunderstorms, lightning, and isolated and heavy rainfall are likely to continue over east and northeast India, namely in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, and Meghalaya. The monsoon is expected to last at least through Saturday, October 5.
Heavy rain and flooding are relatively common during the summer monsoon, which usually hits India from July to September.
Over the last decades, deforestation, degradation of water bodies, and climate change have increased the total flood prone area across the country.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports and to contact their airline for more information. Avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions and flight reservations before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities. Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters; 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult.
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