Cyclone Amphan brings double crisis to Bangladesh and India


Church aid network volunteers & staff delivered early warning messages as Cyclone Amphan approached. Photo: Caritas Bangladesh

Church aid network volunteers & staff delivered early warning messages as Cyclone Amphan approached. Photo: Caritas Bangladesh

Cyclone Amphan has devastated the homes of millions of people in India and Bangladesh - adding another crisis on top of efforts to deal with coronavirus. At least 80 people are known to have lost their lives, with the figure likely to rise as communication with remote regions is re-established.

Janet Symes, CAFOD's Head of Asia Region, said: "Vulnerable communities were already facing the crisis of coronavirus when the 'super cyclone' struck on 20 May, bringing with it flooding, landslides and winds of more than 160mph which tore off roofs and brought down trees and power lines."

It is the first super cyclone to form in the Bay of Bengal in more than 20 years, and has struck at a time when communities were already trying to limit the spread of coronavirus.

"The Catholic Church aid network is on the ground in the affected areas and mobilised hundreds of volunteers to help evacuate thousands of people in its path - saving countless lives," said Janet Symes.

"It also prepared evacuation shelters, ensuring they were clean and had handwashing supplies, masks and gloves to reduce the spread of coronavirus."

As the extent of the damage caused by the storm slowly emerges and the clean-up begins, Caritas Bangladesh - a local organisation CAFOD has worked with for many years - will be supporting families whose homes have been torn apart by providing them with essential food supplies and shelter.

Rohingya refugees living in camps in Cox's Bazar were also affected by the cyclone, with particular concerns around landslides and the spread of coronavirus as people seek safety in evacuation shelters.

Find out more about CAFOD's response to the Rohingya crisis here: https://cafod.org.uk/News/Emergencies-news/Rohingya-Crisis

Donate to CAFOD's Coronavirus Appeal: https://cafod.org.uk/Give/Donate-to-Emergencies/Coronavirus-appeal


Tags: Rohingya, CAFOD, Cyclone Amphan, Covid-19, Coronavirus

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