Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, issues the following statement:
Dozens of people have lost their lives as cyclone Amphan has come ashore southwest of Kolkata in eastern India and is making its way further north-east towards Bangladesh, causing further destruction and flooding.
My thoughts are with the brave people who have been affected by tropical cyclone Amphan and especially those who have lost their loved ones. I am saddened to learn about fatalities in both India and Bangladesh, and the extent of destruction caused by strong winds, flooding and landslides, also damaging houses, infrastructure and livelihoods.
We can only imagine the dire state our Indian and Bangladeshi friends are currently in. This storm hits at a time when social distancing remains essential to prevent a further spread of the coronavirus. A crisis on top of a crisis, so to say.
The European Union will address immediate needs of populations affected by the cyclone, as well as protect humanitarian aid and health workers from their exposure to the epidemic. The EU is determined to start helping people in need with no further delay and provides an initial funding of €500.000 for India and €1.100.000 to support the immediate response in Bangladesh.
During these troubled times I am proud to see that first responders are starting saving people’s lives and that further assessment of the situation on the ground has already started. The EU’s Copernicus emergency management service supports these efforts with satellite maps to assess damages.