Kerala floods: Keralites in Bengaluru turn to social media to save their loved ones

For many others, the frustration is because their relatives back home are trying to downplay the situation.

Published: 17th August 2018 03:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th August 2018 03:12 AM   |  A+A-

A residents of Company padi in Kochi, Kerala, being carried to safety (Photo| Albin Mathew/EPS)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: On Thursday, the heart-rending video of a man neck-deep in water at his house in Chengannur, Kerala, recording a video to appeal for help, showed up on many social media timelines. This brought home the seriousness of the floods in Kerala to many. Many sought help by posting GPS coordinates of their homes and phone numbers of their loved ones who are stranded in flood-hit areas in the state.

“On Thursday, I saw many of these appeals for help show up on my timeline. Some of them were from my friends. Mobile numbers, which are generally not shared online and GPS-based locations of their homes were being openly shared in an attempt to get some relief to reach their relatives who are stranded in flooded houses,” Pradeep R, a resident of Singasandra in the city, said.

The floods have led to cutting of road, train and air links with Kerala and as a result many Keralites working in the city are unable to go help their families and friends back home. The inability to return home has many people in Bengaluru, which has a sizeable population of Keralites, worried endlessly.

KERALA FLOOD LIVE UPDATES| Almost 100 dead as rains continue to lash state; schools and colleges closed till August 29

Jency Thomas, who hails from Aluva in Kerala and works in Bengaluru, said, “I panicked today when I spoke with my parents in the morning. They told me that the water had entered our house and was rising. All efforts to call helplines from Bengaluru were in vain. They told me that rescue would take time. I posted my parents’ phone number and location online seeking help. A lot of people responded. Some with more helplines, others with numbers of their friends coordinating rescue attempts. By afternoon, I was able to speak to other people from the locality who assured that they would help my parents.”

For many others, the frustration is because their relatives back home are trying to downplay the situation. “For two days now, water had entered our house but my parents kept telling me it was not serious and that I need not head home. With limited travel options, I am worried that I will not be able to get back home in time if required. So instead of calling helplines, I asked for help on social media since my parents did not want to be evacuated. It was heartening to see so many people reply and offer help,” said Saju (name changed), who hails from Kozhencherry district.

Airlines make a killing

New Delhi: Keeping in view the flood situation in Kerala, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has urged airlines operating the Delhi-Kerala route to keep prices under `10,000. However, despite the advisory, the economy class on the Delhi-Thiruvananthapuram route was commanding nearly `30,000 on Thursday. Friday tickets on the route, though, were priced low in the range of `5,700 to `15,934. However, Delhi-Kozhikode tickets for Friday were priced way above `20,000.

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