The ‘super cyclone’ Amphan made landfall on 20 May 2020 on Jammu island in West Bengal, India and crossed Bangladesh on 20-21 May. In Bangladesh, the worst impact was experienced in Satkhira and Khulna where the storm speed was recorded between 60- 90 KMPH with high tidal inundation. Barguna and Patuakhali also experienced high tidal inundation where the storm speed was recorded 60 KMPH. As the storm kept moving north, Jhenaidah, Chuadanga, Meherpur, Kushtia, Natore, Rajshahi, Naogaon, Joypurhat were also impacted by high winds and storms. It is notable that, due to the presence of Sundarbans, the wind speed reduced to minimal as well as the tidal surges were not that high as anticipated.
The Government of Bangladesh (GoB) prepared for the cyclone through the leadership of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR) which started with coordination meetings with all relevant government and non-government stakeholders from 16 May. As soon as the cyclone grew in intensity from a ‘very severe’ cyclonic storm into a super cyclone, the GoB prepared 12,078 cyclone shelters in coastal regions. As per government record, more than 2.4 million people were evacuated, with the help of CPP, BDRCS, Fire Service and Civil Defence (FSCD), Police, Armed Forces, and other organizations, to 14,636 permanent and temporary shelters in 19 coastal districts before the cyclone hit the country's coast.
Overall, 76 upazilas in 19 districts were affected where 8 districts were recognized having severe to moderate impact. The death toll was recorded at 26 people, where 2.6 million people were affected. More than 200,000 houses were fully or partially damaged along with more than 176,000 hectares of productive land with standing crops and fish/shrimp farms washed away. A large number of people lost their last resort of livelihood, which will have broader implications for on areas such as food security, WASH, protection, health and education.
A large number of people lost their usual habitat and livelihood, which may force them to adopt negative coping mechanisms risking a potential increase in Gender-based violence, child labor, child marriage, human trafficking. A significant number of the affected population are now without access to safe drinking water and sanitation facility, which increases the chance of communicable disease outbreak. Apart from that the health & nutrition services have been disrupted and inaccessible in many places due to lack of resources, the loss, and damage of infrastructure caused by the cyclone. Continuation of primary and secondary education is uncertain as a large number of institutions have been damaged and unable to provide remote based alternative education.
The GoB has mobilized resources to support impacted communities. Assistance consists of - cash grants, dry food packages, young child-specific food, house repair items, and water purification units. A coordinated short term (03 to 06 months) humanitarian response will be needed to supplement these efforts, primarily to ensure that the most vulnerable communities receive targeted humanitarian assistance. This analysis looks at identifying risks for vulnerable populations due to their geographical locations and socio-economic conditions. It provides the basis of future planning, including where activities need to be focused, who is most in need, and how the programs can be best delivered.
A medium to longer-term (06 to 12 months) early recovery and reconstruction effort will be needed to repair damaged infrastructure specially embankments, roads, houses, sources of safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, etc, restoration of livelihood, rehabilitate agriculture land contaminated by saline water. Considering the coming monsoon and COVID19 health crisis integrated relief and early recovery support recommended so that particularly people those compelled to live in makeshift places or inundated (by seawater) houses can get back to normal life sooner.