Super Cyclone Amphan wreaked havoc in India and Bangladesh in May 2020.
Millions of people lost their home, at a time when they needed it the most to protect from coronavirus.
Read more about what happened, facts about Cyclone Amphan, and how ShelterBox helped.
In mid-May 2020, Cyclone Amphan tore through coastal regions of Bangladesh and north-east India. It was the strongest tropical cyclone to strike the River Ganges Delta since 1999.
The storm wreaked havoc, with winds of up to 185 km/h along with heavy rain and sea surges. It destroyed houses and crops and cut power supplies to cities and towns.
In India alone, 1.7 million homes were destroyed. Families in the states of West Bengal and Odisha were affected the worst.
People have struggled to rebuild lost livelihoods and find reliable food sources. And with coronavirus cases in India increasing, it was vital for families to have the space to self-isolate and avoid sharing items like cooking sets.
How have we helped?
Together with our partner Habitat for Humanity India, we have supported 1,400 families in the Sundarbans, one of the areas worst hit by Amphan.
Families have received shelter kits to enable them to repair or replace damaged and destroyed homes.
We have also provided blankets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, kitchen sets and hygiene kits with soap, buckets and face masks.
We have prioritised vulnerable families who need help the most. This included single-parent households, communities marginalised from society and those living in extreme poverty.
What aid items have we provided?
We have provided shelter kits to enable families to repair or replace damaged and destroyed homes.
Families have also received blankets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, kitchen sets and hygiene kits with soap, buckets and face masks.
These everyday items will help people keep themselves safe from coronavirus and begin to think about the future.
Through our partner Habitat for Humanity India, we have delivered the aid and provided information for families on how best to use it.
We’ve also run remote training, including sharing our expertise on framing and bracing techniques using bamboo, the building material most commonly used in these communities.
Families were able to build stronger, more durable shelters to help them face the challenges of the following months.
Cyclone Amphan (pronounced Cyclone Um–Pan) started making landfall on Wednesday 20 May 2020. It is the first super cyclone to form in the Bay of Bengal since 1999.
It began by hitting the Sundarbans, around the India-Bangladesh border, before moving towards the historic city of Kolkata.
Power lines were down in many areas, trees were uprooted, roofs were torn off and large areas were inundated with floodwater. Thousands of homes were damaged, and further heavy rains and thunderstorms battered the affected areas.
The name ‘Amphan’ means ‘sky’. A panel, made up of India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Maldives, Oman, Sri Lanka and Thailand, names cyclones in the region. The name Amphan was chosen by Thailand in 2004.
Cyclones, typhoons and hurricanes are all tropical storms. The only difference is where they form. Cyclones form south of the equator, typhoons form in the West Pacific Ocean, and hurricanes form in the tropical Atlantic and the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Learn more about cyclones here.
How does shelter save lives during coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a deadly risk for vulnerable families who have lost their homes. But shelter can save lives by:
- Helping families to self-isolate and stay as healthy as possible
- Helping to adapt or expand a vulnerable family’s home to ease overcrowding and allow social distancing
- Helping people move from evacuation centres where families live close together
- Helping to reduce sharing of essential household items between families
By slowing the spread of the virus, shelter can save lives. You can give people shelter by supporting us today.