Cyclone Amphan wreaked havoc in India and Bangladesh in May.
Million of people have 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 is helping.
In mid-May, 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.
Emergency shelter is likely to be needed for many months, as people struggle to rebuild lost livelihoods and find reliable food sources. And with coronavirus cases in India continuing to increase, it has never been more vital for families to have the space to self-isolate and avoid sharing items like cooking sets.
Cyclone Amphan devastation in India
How are we helping?
Together with our partner Habitat for Humanity India, we are planning to support 1,400 families in the Sundarban Islands, one of the areas worst hit by Amphan.
Most families are making do, using leaves and waste material to repair or rebuild homes.
Others are living with family or staying out in the open. The need is great – around 100,000 homes were destroyed here, and a further 700,000 damaged.
We’re looking to prioritise vulnerable families who need help the most.
This could include single-parent households, communities marginalised from society and those living in extreme poverty.
What aid are we providing?
The planned aid package includes shelter kits to enable families to repair or replace damaged and destroyed homes.
We’re also planning to send 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.
Together with Habitat for Humanity India, we’ll deliver the aid and provide information for families on how best to use it.
We’re preparing to run remote training, including sharing our expertise on framing and bracing techniques using bamboo, the building material most commonly used in these communities.
Families will be able to build stronger, more durable shelters that will help them face the challenges of the months to come.
Cyclone Amphan (pronounced Cyclone Um–Pan) started making landfall on Wednesday 20 May. 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.
Reports suggest that power lines are down in many areas, trees have been uprooted, roofs were torn off and large areas are inundated with floodwater. Thousands of homes have been damaged, and further heavy rains and thunderstorms are continuing to batter 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.