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FLASH ALERT: SEVERE FLOODING IN ANDHRA PRADESH, INDIA

Updated: Nov 21

Team: Jade Patel, Alyssa Schmidt, Emergency Management, Health and Hazards Team

Jason Bratcher, Juan Terrero, Editors; Cassandra Townsend, Clea Guastavino, Senior Editors

Week of: Monday, November 15, 2021


Map of Andhra Pradesh[1]


The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) is issuing a FLASH ALERT for the ongoing heavy monsoon rains that have been occurring throughout India in 2021, impacting several states across the country such as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.[2] Each state is heavily impacted by the flooding and is experiencing widespread damage, along with fatalities of people and animals. However, over the past 24 hours, the ongoing heavy floods spread across multiple districts of Andhra Pradesh have increased, causing the state to enter into emergency. With over 17 fatalities and dozens missing, it is likely that the death count will increase over the next 24 hours as rescue teams work to access those trapped and missing persons. The floods have caused a series of hazardous events across Andhra Pradesh, including buses being destroyed and buildings collapsing across multiple regions. As of November 20, 2021, the Kadapa District is the worst impacted, resulting in the closure of the airport. Breaches in dams and tanks within heavily impacted areas have caused further flooding, adding to the high volume of rainfall.


CTG is on HIGH alert for the unfolding emergency throughout Andhra Pradesh, specifically the Kadapa District, as buildings collapse due to water damage. With the mortality rate likely to increase, rescue teams are working to overcome accessibility issues, find missing people, and reach blocked villages. Without access, thousands of people nationwide are likely to be without essentials which will likely lead to multiple humanitarian crises across the country if not addressed.


Days of heavy rainfall throughout India have triggered territorial floods in multiple states across the country, severely impacting the Andhra Pradesh state and resulting in destroyed roads, major hazardous events, mass evacuations, displacement, and hundreds of people being trapped.[3] For the past 24 hours, the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) has been successfully working to evacuate as many people as possible out of the impacted areas within Andhra Pradesh and to find those missing.[4] With over 17 fatalities and dozens still missing, it is very likely that the death toll will increase over the next 24 hours as the disaster continues to worsen.


National Disaster Relief Force teams have been deployed to the most impacted and vulnerable areas to search for missing people and rescue those trapped.[5] Ongoing land and air evacuations by the teams have allowed over 100 families to seek safety in emergency shelters. A bus was destroyed by the floodwater, leaving behind fatalities and trapping others.[6] Severe flooding will likely hinder rescue efforts and cause access difficulties for emergency services. Flooding occurring throughout the country will likely make it challenging to prioritize which state requires the most assistance, likely leading to overwhelmed emergency services. Sharing resources and emergency personnel is also likely to reduce the amount of assistance available in each state and will very likely leave large populations with limited access to resources. Emergency personnel are also in danger of being impacted by the floodwater, which could limit available workers for assistance, likely leading to delays in rescue and decreasing the survival rate of entrapment victims. The Indian Navy is currently airlifting supplies to hard-to-reach areas, but airport closures will likely make international aid harder to access, and will likely impact immediate and short-term travel access to Andhra Pradesh. Given that the state is on a shoreline, boats are most likely the preferred form of transportation and will likely be used to assist with emergency services; however, distribution delays are still likely to occur.


More fatalities are likely to occur as hundreds of individuals remain trapped in their homes, likely without access to medical care and supplies. Due to the large geographical reach of Andhra Pradesh combined with other states within India that equally require emergency assistance, it is likely that emergency rescue, essential resources, and medical resources will be depleted and leave individuals without timely replacements. The flooding will likely stall transportation of resources, leaving individuals without necessities and increasing the threat of further injuries and fatalities. Injured people will likely have difficulties accessing appropriate medical treatment, likely leading to long-term health problems.


Stagnant water can carry waterborne diseases which will likely spread pathogens throughout communities, and likely within the numerous impacted states. With multiple states throughout India requiring medical attention at the same time, it is likely that there will not be enough resources, leaving large groups of individuals at increased risk of serious disease without access to treatment. Large amounts of water are already creating a series of health and hazard concerns, and as more debris becomes dislodged it is likely that more injuries will occur. People trapped in their homes are also likely at risk of their homes collapsing, increasing the threat of harm without access to medical assistance. More buildings will likely continue to collapse due to structural damage worsened by water damage. It is likely that heavily-impacted buildings will be unsafe for habitation until recovery is possible, leaving thousands of people without permanent shelter. Without safe sheltering, individuals are left vulnerable and are at increased risk of becoming victims of crime and radicalization from terror organizations.

The EMH2 Team recommends that more teams be deployed to rescue efforts to alleviate ongoing pressures and to cover a greater geographical reach, such as hard-to-reach villages. The geographical scope of the floods in Andhra Pradesh, combined with other impacted states, is likely to overwhelm emergency workers and resources. Interstate and international aid will likely be required in order to distribute enough essentials for those in emergency shelters. Due to airport closures in Andhra Pradesh, it is recommended that aid delivered is considered based on time, quantity, and accessibility to decrease delays and further issues.


CTG and the EMH2 Team assess that the current threat climate is HIGH due to short and long-term implications caused by the mass flooding. The high levels of damage will take time to rebuild, likely leaving roads, homes and infrastructure unprotected and at risk of further threats. Terrorist groups and criminal organizations will likely take advantage of the impacted states since the nation will be focused on recovery efforts, leaving India vulnerable. Analysis indicates that there is a HIGH PROBABILITY that more fatalities will occur over the next 24 hours in Andhra Pradesh as rescue teams work to overcome accessibility issues. More buildings will likely collapse due to water damage, very likely increasing the mortality rate. It is likely that thousands will be left without access to healthcare and essentials for a prolonged time.


The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) has become the global leader in proactively fighting terrorist organizations around the world. CTG specializes in intelligence collection, and analysis, as well as investigative work to counterterrorism. CTG resources are delivered to advise clients on a business resilience process using current threat intelligence data. We scan for threats across the following regions; Africa, Central Asia, Europe, North America, South America, and Asia-Pacific. Our organization assesses evolving threats through, Worldwide Analysis of Terrorism, Crime, and Hazards (W.A.T.C.H.) services. Our W.A.T.C.H Officers and Digital Targeters monitor the threat posed by cyber threats, insider threats, fraud, espionage, hazards, reputational damages, violent crime, kidnappings, and bombing threats. To find out more about our products and W.A.T.C.H. services visit us at counterterrorismgroup.com.


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[1] Map of Andhra Pradesh, by Jade Patel, via MapChart

[2] India Rains Live: Six die after building collapses due to heavy rains in Andhra's Ananthapur district, Deccan Herald, November 2021, https://www.deccanherald.com/national/karnataka-Bengaluru-IMD-Karnataka-rains-tamil-nadu-rains-live-red-alert-chennai-theni-floods-stalin-IMD-1052670.html#1

[3] Heavy rains in southern Indian state kill 17, dozens missing, AP News, November 2021, https://apnews.com/article/floods-india-building-collapses-hyderabad-search-and-rescue-efforts-71d5cac0abe88c7334587c94bb60faa6

[4] Three dead, 30 rescued after flash flood in Andhra's Kadapa, India Today, November 2021, https://www.indiatoday.in/cities/hyderabad/story/andhra-pradesh-kadapa-flash-flood-dead-heavy-rain-1878562-2021-11-19

[5] Heavy rains in southern Indian state kill 17, dozens missing, AP News, November 2021, https://apnews.com/article/floods-india-building-collapses-hyderabad-search-and-rescue-efforts-71d5cac0abe88c7334587c94bb60faa6

[6] Ibid


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