With heavy rains causing severe flooding in Kerala, Twitter is the best place for people in India to find out what’s happening in real time.
Research has shown that Twitter and other social media platforms can help track natural disasters in real time and alert first responders of areas that need urgent aid. In South Asia, Twitter and Twitter Lite have been important tools for people to communicate with each other, access critical information, and organize relief efforts in times of crisis.
During the Kashmir floods of 2014, citizen groups organized themselves entirely on Twitter to help agencies on the ground. This effort was replicated in 2015 when Chennai was hit with a flood that lasted several weeks. In 2016, Assam was also hit by devastating floods, as was the North East region again in 2017.
When communication services are limited, Twitter and Twitter Lite are where government agencies, relief organizations, media, volunteers, and citizens go to communicate and collaborate – fast.
Here are 5 tips to get the most out of Twitter this monsoon season:
- Twitter is where you go to see what’s happening everywhere in India and the world, right now. Follow trusted sources like Asianet News (@asianetnewstv), News18 Kerala (@News18Kerala), The Hindu (@the_hindu), the National Disaster Response Force (@NDRFHQ) Indian Navy (@indiannavy), Press Information Bureau (@PIBIndia), the Chief Minister of Kerala (@CMOKerala), and the Indian Coast Guard (@IndiaCoastGuard) to get the latest news from trusted sources, as it happens. Avoid sharing information that you are not able to verify.
Graphic representation of Naval #SAR and #FloodRelief teams deployed during #OpMadad in Kerala post heavy rains and flash floods @DefenceMinIndia @IAF_MCC @adgpi @PMOIndia @SpokespersonMoD @CMOKerala pic.twitter.com/M9DamJk7Ju
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) August 10, 2018
@IndiaCoastGuard Aircraft monitors #flood situations in #Ernakulam #Kerala & dispatches Coast Guard Rescue & Relief Teams to #Aluva #Ernakulam & #Beypore for assisting District Disaster Management Teams in Rescue effort to save people from flooded homes& streets @DefenceMinIndia pic.twitter.com/ni66pDWHWW
— Indian Coast Guard (@IndiaCoastGuard) August 9, 2018
- Use the right hashtags for the Kerala floods (#KeralaFloods /#KeralaFloods2018 / #കേരളവെള്ളപ്പൊക്കം2018). Hashtags are the best way for people to find information and conversations online, and they are used by the media, government agencies and relief/volunteer organisations. To ensure that the hashtags remain useful, refrain from using these hashtags for unrelated topics.
|#KeralaFloods2018||Pertaining to information regarding relief operations, such as locations of relief centers|
|#OpMadad||Exclusively used for aid or rescue requests|
|#KeralaFloodRelief||Raising funds for Kerala flood survivors|
- Use Twitter Lite to avoid challenges in data connectivity. In areas where telecommunications have been disrupted, Twitter Lite is the ideal platform to communicate and learn about emergency updates. Twitter Lite is a faster, data-friendly, and more accessible way for Indians to keep abreast of breaking news, or post live Twitter updates of emergency situations on-the-ground. Once loaded, the information on Twitter Lite can be accessed offline as well. Twitter Lite is available at mobile.twitter.com in 42 languages including Hindi, Marathi, Sanskrit, Nepali, Bengali, Assamese, Punjabi, Gujarati, Oriya, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada.
- If you need help or can offer help with relief efforts, @Mention or tag media, government agencies and relief and/or volunteer organizations who may be able to share your Tweet and amplify your voice. Relevant organisations include@RapidResponse, @thenewsminute and @ChennaiRains. Once you’ve got the help you need, make sure you update your Tweet to save time and avoid duplication of effort.
#KeralaFloods: Kerala reeling under one of the worst floods in 50 years. We are providing food & medical assistance to the affected people.
Please donate & share: https://t.co/jb1HLyA4Kr#KeralaFloodRelief #Donate #KeralaRains #Kerala
— Rapid Response (@RapidResponse) August 10, 2018
— TheNewsMinute (@thenewsminute) August 9, 2018
- Track the issue as it evolves with Twitter Moments on Twitter and Twitter Lite. Moments are curated stories showcasing the most relevant Tweets for what’s happening on Twitter. Twitter Moments show current topics which are popular and relevant so that you can discover what is unfolding on Twitter in an instant. Create a chronological account of the situation and curate relevant Tweets, which can serve as a point of reference later on.
28 people have died and many are stranded after heavy monsoon rains caused landslides and flooding across Kerala. https://t.co/QXiOLt7mta
— Twitter Moments India (@MomentsIndia) August 10, 2018