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‘No food, phones not working, rescue us’: Panic calls from Kerala flood social media

Residents all over the state of 33 million have made urgent appeals on social media for help, saying they cannot make contact with rescue services as power and communication lines are down.

india Updated: Aug 18, 2018 13:56 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Kerala floods,Kerala rains,Kerala death toll
People are airlifted by the Indian Navy soldiers during a rescue operation at a flooded area in Kerala, August 17, 2018. (Reuters)

The people in Kerala, which is experiencing its worst floods in nearly a century with torrential rains killing more than 200 people in last 10 days, are sending out panic calls for help on social media

Residents all over the state of 33 million have made urgent appeals on social media for help, saying they cannot make contact with rescue services as power and communication lines are down.

The families trapped in high rise flats, students stranded in hostels and devotees in churches are using social media platforms to seek help and pass on information about their location using Google maps.

Videos of people pleading for help with folded hands, are being posted and shared by hundreds of people on WhatsApp groups.

“My family and neighbouring families are in trouble,” wrote Ajo Varghese, a resident of the coastal city of Alappuzha, in a Facebook post that quickly went viral.

“No water and food. Not able to communicate from afternoon. Mobile phones are not reachable... Please help,” he added.

Other distressed messages were shared online from people trapped inside temples and hospitals as well as their homes.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, whose office has been flooded with panic calls for help, urged people to share exact location details to make rescue smoother and faster.

“We are receiving multiple repetitive rescue requests in CMO. Ensure that you add date and time along with exact location, any significant landmark, district, number of stranded people and contact number of victim in all new requests,” he tweeted.

Last week, an NRI woman was heard pleading on a TV channel for help to rescue her relatives stranded in a house in Pathanamthitta district, one of the worst affected districts.

A man from Ranni posted a video saying, “We are in the second floor of the house... the first floor is almost flooded... the mobile phone is running out of charge... please rescue us... please.”

“There are tiny tots and senior citizens with us... water is now scaling up to the second floor,” he said.

Also last week, students and devotees trapped in churches were seeking help through social media in in Pathanamthitta.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Aug 18, 2018 11:50 IST