Amphan - Analyzing Experiences of Extreme Weather Events using Online Data


Cyclone Amphan made landfall in South Asia on May 20, 2020. It was the most damaging storm in the history of the Indian Ocean, rendering hundreds of thousands of people homeless, ravaging agricultural lands and causing billions of dollars in damage. How were people affected by the storm? What were the responses of individuals, governments, corporates and NGOs? How was it covered by local, national and international media, as opposed to individuals’ accounts? Who has created the dominant narratives of Cyclone Amphan; and whose voices go unheard? We aim to use online data – such as Twitter posts, news headlines and research publications – to analyze people’s experiences of Cyclone Amphan.

DDSG Solve Team

  • Ancil Crayton
  • João Fonseca
  • Kanav Mehra
  • Jared Ross
  • Marcelo Sandoval-Castañeda

Project Partner


Droughts and floods, which account for 94% of all extreme weather-related fatalities, are predicted to become more frequent in the coming years. By 2050, more than 1 billion people worldwide will be affected by extreme drought. Similarly, major flooding events will become 6 times more frequent worldwide under climate change. These extreme weather events can have devastating impacts on communities around the globe, but the diversity of people’s experiences of them are difficult to capture and communicate.


The DSSG Solve team aims to collaborate with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) to create an interactive web app that leverages online data such as social media posts, news headlines and research publications to paint a fuller picture of the impacts of extreme weather events, like droughts and floods. This research tool would help users better understand how people personally experience extreme weather events, enable them to compare descriptions of the extreme weather events from individuals’ perspectives with local, regional and international news coverage and analyze how the effects of extreme weather events are spatially and temporally distributed, thus providing a lens into discourse on water-related issues.