May 21 Cyclone Amphan news

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4:48 a.m. ET, May 21, 2020

Red Crescent volunteer among 10 killed by cyclone in Bangladesh

From journalist Salman Saeed in Dhaka

The death toll from Cyclone Amphan in Bangladesh has risen to 10, according to the governmental Health Emergency Operations Center. 

Five people have been killed in Barisal state, four in Khuna, and one in Chittagong

Among those killed in Barisal was a 57-year-old Red Crescent volunteer who drowned when attempting to help others to safety, the Red Crescent Society of Bangladesh said. 

The organization praised Syed Shah Alam as a generous and dedicated humanitarian.

4:47 a.m. ET, May 21, 2020

Rohingya refugee camps near Cox's Bazar appear to have been spared significant damage

From CNN's Rebecca Wright in Hong Kong

Roofs are seen covered with plastic sheets as part of preparations for Cyclone Amphan in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, on Tuesday, May 20.
Roofs are seen covered with plastic sheets as part of preparations for Cyclone Amphan in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, on Tuesday, May 20. Ro Yassin Abdumonab/Reuters

No major damage from Cyclone Amphan has been reported in the refugee camps near Cox's Bazar, where nearly 1 million Rohingya refugees live. No injuries have been reported.

Achala Navaratne, a spokesperson for the American Red Cross in Bangladesh, said the charity's teams are in the camps right now searching the area.

There was concern that the precipitation from the storm -- though it made landfall on the other side of Bangladesh -- could cause landslides in the refugee camps. Those living there already are subject to squalid conditions, and there is concern that a Covid-19 outbreak could arise in the camps after cases were reported last week.

4:36 a.m. ET, May 21, 2020

Hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones are becoming stronger, according to a new NOAA study

From CNN's Judson Jones and Brandon Miller

It is becoming increasingly evident that hurricanes, typhoons, and tropical cyclones worldwide are becoming stronger and potentially more deadly as the globe warms due to the climate crisis, according to a new study.

The study, released on Monday by researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), looked at nearly 40 years of satellite data of global storms.

Researchers found: the probability of storms reaching major hurricane status (category 3 or above on the Saffir-Simpson scale with winds in excess of 110 mph or higher), increased decade after decade.

"During its lifetime, a hurricane is 8% more likely to be a major hurricane in this decade compared to the last decade," said Jim Kossin, author of the study

Kossin and his team's research spanned the globe, showing that storms across the world are becoming stronger and thus more destructive.

"Almost all of the damage and mortality caused by hurricanes is done by major hurricanes (category 3 to 5)," Kossin said. "Increasing the likelihood of having a major hurricane will certainly increase this risk."

Cyclone Amphan is a current example: The cyclone was the most powerful cyclone ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal, intensifying into a super cyclone and reaching sustained winds of 270 kph (165 mph) -- the equivalent to a category 5 hurricane.

"Sea surface temperatures are much warmer than normal in the Bay of Bengal right now," said Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach, who was not involved in the study. Warmer ocean temperatures are one of the main ingredients the new study pointed to in explaining the observed increase in storm strength.

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3:36 a.m. ET, May 21, 2020

Photographs show significant flooding at Kolkata airport

An aircraft is seen amidst a collapsed hangar at flooded Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport after the landfall of Cyclone Amphan in Kolkata on May 21.
An aircraft is seen amidst a collapsed hangar at flooded Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport after the landfall of Cyclone Amphan in Kolkata on May 21. AFP/Getty Images

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, the main airport in Kolkata, appears to have been hit fairly hard by Cyclone Amphan.

Photographs show significant flooding at the facility, including at least one aircraft that was damaged in the storm.

The airport is one of the busiest in India. More than 20 million passengers passed through the facility from April 2018 through March 2019.

Aircrafts are parked at a terminal near the flooded tarmac at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport after the landfall of Cyclone Amphan in Kolkata on May 21.
Aircrafts are parked at a terminal near the flooded tarmac at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport after the landfall of Cyclone Amphan in Kolkata on May 21. AFP/Getty Images

3:08 a.m. ET, May 21, 2020

Thousands in India and Bangladesh left homeless as Cyclone Amphan heaps misery on coronavirus-hit communities

From CNN's Helen Regan, Swati Gupta, Vedika Sud and Salman Saeed

Thousands of people have been left homeless in the wake of Cyclone Amphan, which slammed into India's eastern coast yesterday afternoon, as authorities race to provide relief efforts in communities already stricken by the coronavirus. 

Amphan, which was the most powerful cyclone ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal before it weakened, ripped apart homes, tore down trees, washed away bridges and left large predominately rural areas without power or communications. 

The state of West Bengal's Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday at least 12 people had died in eastern India, with one young girl in the Howrah district killed after a wall collapsed inside her home.

Large-scale evacuation efforts throughout India and neighboring Bangladesh appear to have saved many lives, but it could take days to realize the full extent of the deaths, injuries and damage from the cyclone. Fallen debris has made many of the roads impassible and heavy rains continue to fall on hard-hit areas.

In India: S.N. Pradhan, director-general of India's National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF), said the worst of the damage is concentrated in two of West Bengal's coastal districts and that the Sunderbans had been "pulverized" by the cyclone.

In Bangladesh: Nearly every coastal district has been seriously affected by Cyclone Amphan, according to Ranjit Kumar Sen, an official at the Bangladesh Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief.

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2:48 a.m. ET, May 21, 2020

Cricketers, Bollywood stars and other celebrities send well-wishes to those who suffered through the storm

Indian and Bengali celebrities took to social media in order to send prayers and thoughts to those affected by Cyclone Amphan.

Actress Subhashree Ganguly sent several pictures of the devastation on her Twitter account.

Virat Kohli, the captain of the Indian cricket team and one of the best batsmen in the world, said in a tweet he was sending prayers to those in West Bengal. Former cricketer also tweeted a message.

Several Bollywood stars also sent messages of hope and prayers on Twitter, including actors Rajkummar Rao, Paoli Dam and Karan Tacker and filmmaker Karan Johar.

Gautam Gambhir, an Indian cricket star-turned politician, said "these are truly troubled times" and that his thoughts were with the people of the two worst-affetected states in India.

2:42 a.m. ET, May 21, 2020

Storm surges in Bangladesh were as high as 15 feet

From CNN's Akanksha Sharma in Hong Kong

Catholic Relief Services/Caritas Bangladesh
Catholic Relief Services/Caritas Bangladesh

Several poorly maintained dykes and dams in Bangladesh broke down even before Cyclone Amphan made landfall on Wednesday, causing extensive flooding in parts of the country.

Snigdha Chakraborty with charity Catholic Relief Services said the country saw storm surges as high as 15 feet (4.5 meters), inundating houses throughout the country.

A total of 12,078 cyclone shelters were prepared throughout the country's coastal regions, where over 2 million people were evacuated. About 40,000 livestock animals were also evacuated.

Though there has been significant damage across the coast, major destruction has not been reported so far in the refugee camp's near Cox's Bazar, where nearly 1 million Rohingya Muslims who fled violence in Myanmar currently live, Chakraborty said.

Some weak shelters were damaged in the storm and now need to be repaired, she said.

There was concern that the precipitation from the storm -- though it made landfall on the other side of Bangladesh -- could cause landslides in the refugee camps. Those living there already are subject to squalid conditions, and there is concern that a Covid-19 outbreak could arise in the camps after cases were reported last week.

Catholic Relief Services/Caritas Bangladesh
Catholic Relief Services/Caritas Bangladesh

2:08 a.m. ET, May 21, 2020

Photographs show devastation and upheaval wrought by Amphan

Cyclone Amphan made landfall in eastern India, near the Bangladeshi border, on Wednesday, May 20.

Evacuation efforts in India and Bangladesh are being complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, as relief teams grapple with how to get millions of people to safety while also protecting them against the risk of Covid-19.

Photographs from the scene show powerful winds, heavy rain and significant damage in some places.

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