Facebook coming as great help in Kerala flood rescue, relief efforts

By India News Stream Desk

Aug 21, 2018

New Delhi: Flood victims in Kerala and their friends and agencies and NGOs wanting to help them are using Facebook to reach out to them.

The Facebook community activated safety check on August 9 through which people were able to access additional crisis tools, such as Community Help and the Crisis Donate Button. The Community Help tool within Crisis Response allows people to offer and ask for help during a crisis.

To date, there have been more than 1,300 posts from people in the affected area asking and offering for things like shelter, food, water, transportation and volunteer work. The community is also using Facebook to ask for help.

People are using Facebook Live to ask for help, including a man left stranded by the floods who went live on Facebook neck-deep in rising waters, asking to be rescued after he was unable to reach authorities.

More than 1,200 people have used Facebook’s Community Help to ask for and request help — the most popular areas where people are asking for help include food, water, transportation and shelter.

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and relevant NGOs are using Facebook disaster maps to mobilise rescue and support efforts. Disaster Maps have been prepared for Kerala in partnership with SEEDS India; these maps will track people’s movement and will demarcate between the affected (flood-hit) and safe zones. This are coming in handy for the government to identify places, where rescue and relief is required.

A Facebook spokesperson said, “Following the flooding across Kerala, India, the Facebook community activated Safety Check on Thursday, August 9. Since then, we’ve seen people across the Facebook community use Crisis Response, Groups, Pages, Live, Events and Fundraisers to mobilize support and help those impacted most. For example, two men from Chicago created a fundraiser for relief efforts, raising more than $1.3 million so far ”.

”We’re inspired by how the community has come together, and to amplify these efforts, Facebook is donating $250,000 to the Community Resilience Fund for GOONJ, a local NGO that is leading relief and recovery efforts in the region, ” he said.

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