The most powerful cyclone to hit Bangladesh and eastern India, in more than 20 years, destroyed houses, drove cars through the flooded streets and took the lives of up to 20 people.
Authorities began assessing the damage on Thursday after millions spent a sleepless night, with winds of 165 km / h taking 102 trees, electricity poles, walls and roofs and exploding transformer stations.
In Bangladesh, officials said they awaited reports of the Sundarbans, a UNESCO world heritage site famous for its mangrove forest and endangered Bengal tiger population, which were impacted by the storm.
The widespread relief that the evacuation of more than 3 million people from coastal villages has averted the dire numbers of deaths from past storms has been tempered by fears of the coronavirus pandemic spreading to crowded shelters.
The authorities of both countries sent masks and disinfectants, but social detachment was virtually impossible, as families accumulated in reinforced schools, government buildings and community rooms.
The chief minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, estimated that there were between 10 and 12 deaths in her state, although not all were confirmed immediately. Bangladeshi authorities said eight people died, including a five-year-old boy and a 75-year-old man, both hit by falling trees, and a drowning emergency volunteer.
Fallen trees and pieces of concrete carried by strong winds were also responsible for the deaths in India.
The capital of West Bengal, Kolkata, woke up to the streets flooded with some cars at the window. Much of the city of 15 million people was plunged into darkness when the transformer stations exploded.
Millions of people in India and Bangladesh were left without power, officials said.
The cyclone weakened as it moved along the coast of Bangladesh, but it still caused heavy rains and strong winds in Cox's Bazaar, the district that is home to about a million Rohingya refugees from violence in Myanmar.
Amphan was the first “super cyclone” formed over the Bay of Bengal since 1999 and gust winds of up to 185 km / h at sea.
This caused a wave of storms – an oceanic water wall that is often a major cause of death in major climate systems – that roared inland.
In southwest Bangladesh, a 1.5-meter wave broke a landfill and flooded farmland, police said.
Bangladeshi officials said the Sundarbans' mangrove forests were impacted.
"We still don't have a real picture of the damage. We are particularly concerned about some wild animals. They can be washed away during storms at high tide," said forest chief Moyeen Uddin Khan.
The houses "appear to have been hit by a tractor," said Babul Mondal, 35, a villager on the Indian side of the Sundarbans.
"Everything is destroyed."
Enamur Rahman, Bangladesh's junior disaster management minister, said 2.4 million people and more than half a million animals were taken to shelters.
India evacuated more than 650,000 in West Bengal and Odisha.
Because of the coronavirus, the authorities used extra space to reduce crowding, making face masks mandatory and reserving isolation rooms. Infection numbers are still rising in both countries.
The low coast of Bangladesh, home to 30 million people, and eastern India are regularly hit by cyclones that have killed hundreds of thousands of people in recent decades.
In 2007, cyclone Sidr left more than 3,500 dead in Bangladesh. In 1999, the super cyclone left nearly 10,000 dead in the Indian state of Odisha, eight years after a typhoon, tornadoes and floods killed 139,000 in Bangladesh.