Thiruvananthapuram: As roads turn into 'rivers' in many places in rain-battered Kerala, 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. Videos of people pleading for help with folded hands, are being posted and shared by hundreds of people on WhatsApp groups since last night.
Helpline numbers are here:
Panic-struck relatives are also sharing the location of their near and dear ones trapped in various places using Google maps. Various regional channels have also published their numbers through news bulletins for stranded people to contact them and share details of their location, to be passed on to authorities. "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," a man from Ranni said in a video which has gone viral on social media. "There are tiny tots and senior citizens with us... water is now scaling up to the second floor," he said.
An NRI woman was heard pleading on a TV channel for help to rescue her relatives stranded in a house in Pathanamthitta district, which has been witnessing heavy rainfall since last evening. In Pathanamthitta, a district in central Kerala which is submerged in water, students and devotees trapped in churches are seeking help through social media.
A family with a two-month-old baby is stranded at a house at Athani near Kochi and sought help via WhatsApp. Patients of a private hospital in Kozhencherry, the first floor which was flooded, also appealed for help. Those stranded were worried about lack of drinking water and food and disruption of power supply. "We are awaiting rescue teams... TV channels are showing that the Army and Navy personnel will come to rescue us... we are trying to contact the emergency numbers... but nobody is picking up," an anxious man was seen telling a television channel over phone.
With the flood situation going out of control, local people are also doing their bit helping police, fire service and other defence personnel in most places. With water overflowing on roads and national highways, people are using every possible mode from huge vessels to 'vallam' (wooden country boats) to rescue and ferry people especially women and children to safer places. A weeping woman carrying her new-born twins was rescued from near Aluva, which has been battered in the monsoon fury. Elderly men and women were seen thanking rescuers with teary eyes.