Kashmir: Facebook,Twitter, Whatsapp help flood victims, rescuers connect

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Srinagar, Sept 9: The technology is helping the Kashmir floods victims and rescuers in a big way. In the worst-ever floods to have hit the state in last 50 years, social media networks and apps are helping people share vital information, locate stranded victims and seek help.

There are many Facebook groups which are sharing information on missing people and on Twitter, the hashtag #KashmirFloods is trending with several people tweeting with it. 

A Bangalore-based professional, Dileepan is worried about his friend's family that is stuck in flood-hit Kashmir. "There has been absolutely no contact with them for 3 days", he says. The youngster has resorted to a Facebook group 'Kashmir Flood Information Channel' to locate the family. "We have shared all available details regarding the family on Facebook and Twitter and have also given the exact geographical location of the building their are stuck in. We hope we will be able to get in touch with them soon", he says. (See here)






People also share helpful information regarding rescue operations on these sites and apps.


Apparently, the Indian army is also using social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp in relief operations, said a PTI report. The Army headquarters is forwarding all the distress messages received by it on its website, facebook page and twitter handle to a WhatsApp group including senior commanders in the Northern Command from where troops on ground are being directed to help the people in stress, Army's Additional Director General (Public Information) Maj Gen Shaukeen Chauhan said.

One of the messages received by the Army was for locating and helping a local MLA Rafiq Ahmed, they said. The Army officers involved in the process are responsible for handling the Indian Army website, its twitter handle and the Facebook page.

Meanwhile, rescuers of the NDRF have received over 450 distress messages through Whatsapp and SMS from people stranded in the submerged areas of Jammu and Kashmir in the last two days.

"We were able to rescue some people after getting these messages. We have asked our commanders and control rooms to streamline these messages so that our teams can be directed where they are needed," National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) chief O P Singh said. He said 453 such "social media" messages over Whatsapp, Twitter, SMSes and emails have been received by them.

The NDRF has published its distress call numbers. The control room number is 011-26107953, mobile- 09711077372 and email is ndrfhq@nic.in.

Onendia News

(With PTI inputs)

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