Chennai residents use social media to help the flood affected

HUNDREDS of Chennai residents have taken to social media to help those affected by torrential rains in the southern Indian city that has cut roads, highways and supply lines and left thousands stranded.

With flights and trains suspended and many without power, residents began using social media to start reaching out to co-ordinate search, rescue and food distribution and open their homes.

The Hindu called this a “flood of kindness as the skies open up”.

(Read more here: Southern India flooding closes airport, cuts off power)

Using the hashtag #ChennaiFloods and #ChennaiRains residents have been praising the efforts of the city, leaving messages of condolence, giving updated information on road closures, offering food packages, listing missing people and offering their assistance and even accommodation. Here are some of these. Messages for help:

Tweets sent offering free mobile top ups:

Encouraging messages:

Offers of help:

Other hashtags being used include #ChennaiRainsRescue #ChennaRainsHelp. Chennairains.org has also been set up listing useful contacts, where aid and shelter is available, and to gather volunteers.

People wade through a flooded street in Chennai, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Pic: AP.

News outlets have also been listing individual stories of kindness.

BBC:

Naveen Kumar is hosting three people in his house and says he has space to accommodate two more.

“So many people are affected and they don’t have food or a place to stay. We have to help each other. If you do your bit, others will follow you,” he told the BBC.

Amba Salelkar has also opened her house to anyone who needs shelter.

“I have lived in Mumbai and have seen terror attacks and flooding. In these scenarios, people need shelter and food. I am a single woman and could have been stranded anywhere. This thought prompted me to offer help,” she said.

The Hindu quoted dancer Anita Ratnam who opened her home:

“We are part of a momentous disaster. Whatever we can do, we do. At least this rain has shown one thing about our city: we are extremely hospitable: warm, welcoming and trusting. I’m not surprised people are opening their homes. Remember in Tamil custom we never say goodbye – we say ‘vaanga’, please come.”





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