Wednesday May 20, 2020
Cyclone Amphan, the strongest cyclone to form in two decades in the Bay of Bengal, made landfall on Wednesday, May 20 near Sagar Island in West Bengal, India, not far from the border of Bangladesh at around 5:00 p.m. local time (7:00 a.m. EST).
According to CNN (as of May 21, 8:32 a.m.), more than 80 people have been killed and thousands more left homeless. Evacuation efforts seemed to have saved many lives, but it could take days to realize the full extent of deaths, injuries, and damage from the storm.
With teams already on the ground in Bangladesh and India, Humanity & Inclusion is closely monitoring developments, and considering a possible emergency response. Experts stand ready to assist the most vulnerable people, including those with disabilities, new injuries from the storm, older people and more generally people who are displaced from their homes.
The coronavirus made it difficult to evacuate millions of Indians and Bangladeshis to temporary shelters. Bangladesh opened more than 13,000 cyclone shelters—nearly triple the usual amount—to keep them less crowded. Evacuees must wear masks inside and maintain physical distance.
Protecting the most vulnerable
We are particularly concerned about our beneficiaries—people with disabilities, older people, people with chronic illnesses, and vulnerable individuals. We're especially worried for individuals and families living in refugee camps, where staying safe from a storm like Amphan, and not catching a virus like COVID-19, is extremely challenging.
Humanity & Inclusion is in close contact with our partners and teams on the ground in Bangladesh and India, and hope they can all stay safe while protecting themselves, their families, and HI beneficiaries from both emergencies.
Photo caption: Satellite image of Cyclone Amphan on May 18, 2020. Credit: Cyclocane