What happened?

In mid-May 2020, 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.

People struggled to rebuild lost livelihoods and find reliable food sources. And with coronavirus cases in India increasing, it was vital for families to have the space to self-isolate and avoid sharing items like cooking sets.

Sundarban islands India map

How did ShelterBox help?

Together with our partner Habitat for Humanity India, we supported 1,400 families in the Sundarbans, one of the areas worst hit by Amphan.

Families received shelter kits to enable them to repair or replace damaged and destroyed homes.

We have also provided blankets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, kitchen sets and hygiene kits with soap, buckets and face masks.

We prioritised vulnerable families who need help the most. This included single-parent households, communities marginalised from society and those living in extreme poverty.

What aid items did we provide?

We provided shelter kits to enable families to repair or replace damaged and destroyed homes.

Families also received blankets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, kitchen sets and hygiene kits with soap, buckets and face masks.

These everyday items helped people keep themselves safe from coronavirus and begin to think about the future.

Through our partner Habitat for Humanity India, we delivered the aid and provided information for families on how best to use it.

We also ran remote training, including sharing our expertise on framing and bracing techniques using bamboo, the building material most commonly used in these communities.

Families were able to build stronger, more durable shelters to help them face the challenges of the following months.

Shelter Kits

A selection of hardwearing tools and materials allowed families to build shelters so they could follow social distancing guidelines

Mosquito Nets

Coated with insecticide, our mosquito nets offered an extra layer of protection from insect-borne diseases like malaria or dengue fever


Blankets helped families stay warm and protect themselves from the cold

Facts about cyclone Amphan

When did cyclone Amphan hit?

Cyclone Amphan (pronounced Cyclone UmPan) started making landfall on Wednesday 20 May 2020. It was the first super cyclone to form in the Bay of Bengal since 1999.

Where did cyclone Amphan hit?

It began by hitting the Sundarbans, around the India-Bangladesh border, before moving towards the historic city of Kolkata.

What damage did cyclone Amphan cause?

Power lines were down in many areas, trees were uprooted, roofs were torn off and large areas were inundated with floodwater. Thousands of homes were damaged, and further heavy rains and thunderstorms battered the affected areas.

How did cyclone Amphan gets its name?

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.

What is a cyclone?

A man up on a ladder assessing the damage on his shelter in India after Cyclone Amphan

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