A view of flooding on Grand Road an hour after Cyclone Fani hit Puri, India on May 3, 2019.

Tropical Cyclone Fani Hits India and Bangladesh

Fani put 10 million people — including 4 million children — in harm's way. UNICEF is responding to those in need.


Tropical Cyclone Fani made landfall Friday morning, May 3, near Puri, India, lashing beaches with rain and wind gusting up to 127 mph. Major evacuations protected the lives of millions in large sections of coastal India and Bangladesh

Early preparedness and evacuation saves lives

Fani has been described as the strongest cyclone to hit the region since a similar system struck Odisha in 1999, resulting in at least 10,000 deaths. This time, thankfully, early preparedness and evacuation minimized risks and casualties. 

Extensive damage reported in Bangladesh

Weakening as it moved inland, Fani reached Bangladesh late on May 3. In Cox's Bazar, where 900,000 Rohingya refugees live in makeshift settlements, many shelters were blown away. Early reports indicate that more than 1,000 homes were destroyed and entire villages submerged.

"Fortunately, the winds and rains were not as strong as initially anticipated though they have still caused havoc in many parts of the country," said Jean-Jacques Simon, UNICEF Bangladesh Chief of Communications. "Villages have been flooded and embankments broken, but risks were minimized as over a million people in vulnerable locations were safely evacuated."

UNICEF is supporting the government and partner NGOs to ensure that coastal radio stations are broadcasting lifesaving messages and warnings. Emergency supplies have been prepositioned to meet humanitarian needs of up to 100,000 people in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene; nutrition; child protection and education. Field-based staff are responding to those in need, supporting emergency programs for affected children and families. 

UNICEF helps before, during and after emergencies. Please donate now. 



Top photo: A view of flooding on Grand Road one hour after Cyclone Fani hit Puri, India on May 3, 2019. © Arijit Sen/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

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