Cyclones are the most common natural disaster in Bangladesh. Here, we assess the economic impact of a relatively small cyclone, Cyclone Aila, which hit the Sundarbans region in 2009 and destroyed local infrastructure including many shrimp farms. In contrast to other studies, we found that the higher-income households in the study area (Koyra sub-district) were more vulnerable in both relative and absolute terms. The average damage costs for high income households were 42 % of the yearly income before Aila, whereas this was only 16 and 15 % for middle- and low-income groups, respectively. Higher-income households were also less resilient than middle- and low-income groups, also something rarely reported in the literature. By engaging in new opportunities, the poorest households, by our calculations, increased their income by 16 % compared to their income before Aila. Middle income households decreased their income slightly (by 4 %), while the income of the richest households dropped by about 50 % after the cyclone. Income was more equally distributed across the population after the cyclone than it was before, in particular in the highly and severely affected areas.