The northeast monsoon is not letting up. A flood alert has been sounded in Chennai and the situation in many other parts of Tamil Nadu is getting even worse. Amidst all this chaos, Chennaites have taken to social media to rally support.
In a campaign reminiscent of #PortesOuvertes (Open Doors) that hit Twitter following the terror attacks in Paris last month, residents in Chennai are offering support through the hashtag #ChennaiRainsHelp. The aim is to reach out for help through Twitter and offer shelter to the stranded.
Help is being crowdsourced through tweets, many of which have been compiled on to a Google spreadsheet. The table, which is being constantly updated, includes details on the area where shelter is available, the number of people that can be accommodated, the Twitter handle as well as the contact number. Some users have even included notes like ‘pets welcome’ as well.
There is also a provision for those who need help to post their location or on behalf of someone else. Another section specifies the need for other amenities, such as medical help. All the information on this spreadsheet have been gleaned from Twitter and is meant to be a ‘central repository of stranded people’, as described by Twitter user Sowmya Rao, who began putting the list together.
In addition to this spreadsheet, information on relief centres opened by the Chennai Corporation, with address and contact numbers, as well as a list of helpline numbers are being widely circulated on Twitter.
Residents who are in need of medical help are also reaching out for help through the website.
Scores of individuals from different parts of the city have been broadcasting the location of their homes, their mobile numbers and what they are able to offer.
Friend's friend is cooking food for 300 ppl, and wants a few extra hands to help out. Saritha, Besant Nagar - 9600045320 #ChennaiRainsHelp— Subadra (@SoBadRa) December 1, 2015
Its not just the common man who is standing up to the rain gods, but a number of malls, multiplexes and colleges have thrown their doors open to the stranded.
SRM University is accommodating people in their buildings. Those stranded on GST pls go there 4 Food & stay. Contact Mr.Jogani 9840042152— Sreedhar Pillai (@sri50) December 1, 2015
Phoenix mall in Velachery are providing accommodation for people. Make sure you guys carry an ID card when you go there #ChennaiRainsHelp— Chennai Vaasi (@Talk2gokul) December 1, 2015