On 20 May 2020, Cyclone Amphan made landfall near Jammu Island, West Bengal at 5.00 pm BST with 130-140 km/h wind speed. Government Early Warning system, the successful massive evacuations to cyclone shelters respective of COVID-19 mitigation measures and the power of the mangrove forest of the Sundarbans contributed to reduce significantly the impact of the cyclone on Bangladesh and to reduce the loss of lives as well as the damages to infrastructures.
As of 22 May 2020, reports indicate that 17 people lost their lives and that 7 people were injured due to falling of trees, boat capsizes, wall collapses and drowning. An estimated 10 million vulnerable people in 19 districts were impacted.
According to preliminary reports collected by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR), 330,667 houses were damaged including 55,667 totally destroyed in nine (9) most impacted districts: Khulna, Satkhira, Barguna, Bhola, Patuakhali, Pirojpur, Noakhali, Bagerhat and Jessore. The cyclone led to the internal displacement of min. 100,000 persons who are currently staying on embankments and in houses of their friends and relatives.
While national authorities are measuring the full scale of the damages, early reports inform that Cyclone Amphan created damages worth US$ 130 million. It includes damage to the electricity network, bridges and culverts (200), embankments (150 kilometers), roads (1,100 kilometers), sources of drinking water (220), local administration and community infrastructures.
The winds and the tidal surge damaged livestock and destroyed standing crops, vegetables and fruits on 176,000 of hectares of land (65% of agriculture land in 19 coastal districts), uprooted millions of trees and damaged fish farms worth BDT 3,250 million. The harvests of jute and mung dal, summer fruits mango and litchi are among those severely damaged.
Further health and environmental risks remain due to the large amounts of debris and waste. Protection-related risks are high due to the fact that some of the displaced families are living in the same room or space regardless of their age, sex and gender identity. Menstrual hygiene practice is negatively impacted, due to the destruction of WASH facilities and women face difficulties in cooking, collecting water and fetching firewood. Due to the flooding situation and the disrupted water and sanitation system, the risk of outbreak of diseases exists. Fortunately, according to the Department General for Health Services (DGHS), no health facility has been reported damaged to date.