Shafiqul Islam was hiding under a bed with his wife and two children for hours when the most violent cyclone that hit Bangladesh this century tore the tin roof from his house.
He thought he could leave Cyclone Amphan, but soon regretted his "big mistake" when winds of 150 km / h hit the Satkhira district of Bangladesh and destroyed his home and that of his neighbors.
"The wind was so strong that it felt like it was going to blow everything up," the 40-year-old farm worker told AFP on Thursday, standing in the twisted wreck.
"It destroyed everything we had. I don't know how I'm going to survive. Thanks to Allah that it didn't kill me or my family. We came very close to death."
After Aleya Begum and her husband sent their children to an animal shelter, they stayed behind to protect their four properties.
Your efforts have been in vain.
"Everything I have built over the decades was destroyed in a few hours. I saw a few cyclones. That was the worst," said Begum, 65.
"Everything is gone."
Village by village was flattened in Satkhira, which bore the brunt of the first "super cyclone" recorded in the Bay of Bengal since 1999.
Better forecasts and the authorities' swift action to put 2.4 million people in emergency shelters helped keep the number of deaths in Bangladesh at 12 – a fraction of the human cost in previous cyclones.
In 1970, half a million people died in a cyclone. Another killed 3,500 in 2007.
But Amphan's strong winds and the associated seawater wall that streamed inland still had a punitive effect.
In Purba Durgabati, hundreds of locals fought through the night in howling wind and pouring rain to fix a break in a river dam that protected the village and several others.
But the river rose in places by four meters and washed away about two kilometers of the dike, which was also a street and flooded 600 houses.
"My home is under water. My shrimp farm has disappeared. I don't know how I will survive," 28-year-old Omar Faruq told AFP.
Modhusadan Mondol, who normally sells shrimp to Japan, said the coronavirus has brought one of Bangladesh's largest export industries to a standstill.
He had hoped to start deliveries again as soon as the lock was lifted.
"But the cyclone washed away my shrimp farm and thousands of other farms. We lost everything," said Mondol, estimating his losses at tens of thousands of dollars.
Bhabotosh Kumar Mondal, a city councilor, said the cyclone "left an unprecedented trail of devastation", destroyed seven underwater villages in its area, and 2,000 mud and tin houses.
"The corona virus has already taken a toll on people. Now the cyclone has made them poor," he said.
Bhabotosh Kumar Mondal estimated that around 3,000 shrimp and crab farms were washed away or badly damaged, resulting in losses in excess of $ 20 million.
"It destroyed our only means of survival," he said.