Jikku Varghese Jacob Profile picture
Senior Reporter at Malayala Manorama Daily. 🎙️Podcast: Delhi Hashtag.

Aug 24, 2018, 26 tweets

#Thread #KeralaFloods Detailed thread to document the historic efforts of various online groups in rescue and relief operations. Trust me, Whatsapp and Google sheets were the powerful weapons we had. Pic: An online control room set by NRKs in house at Abu Dhabi (1/n)

It was the time we truly realised the power of social media and instant messaging services with regard to disaster management. Many were stranded on roof-tops without any other contact to the world other than their mobile phones. Whatsapp brilliantly solved the issue. (2/n)

Before going in detail let me point out the problem statements. 1) Govt issued some helpline numbers but most of them were busy with numerous calls 2) Thousands of SOS requests flooded in social media which were not addressed in a systematic manner, hence turned spams (3/n)

3) Nobody was their to call back the victims or relatives and verify the current status. 4) Victims, relatives and friends send same requests so duplication was rampant. 5) Not getting SOS hotlines turned many stranded people into more panic especially in night. (4/n)

6) There was no facility to know the status of an SOS request hence more panic among people.7) After one day many phones were draining of. Continuous calls to several helplines were of no use. Many of them send 'location' through whatsapp but later many networks turned down (5/n)

Soon many online groups came in to discuss the issue and within hours they came out with some interesting solutions. Apart from whatsapp flooding, clean data sets were the need of the hour. Here's Manorama infographics on the same (6/n)

Let me introduce some interesting projects. First is #WeshallOvercome Twitter community. They continuously monitored Twitter feeds for SOS requests by keywords. The partial data was collated in Google sheets. Group of almost 50 volunteers called back the victims to verify. (7/n)

#WeshallOvercome team got direct contact to Helicopter rescue and they were ready to take in the clean realtime data given by @UkkenTintu and team. In other cases they gave data to fishing boats nearby. Mobilized ground volunteers too. (8/n)

Soon the rescue operations turned so smooth. Helicopter team instructed them to ask for more visible landmarks. They provided it. Result was evident (9/n)

Next is 'Life Boat', a sophisticated system evolved in short while. Kudos to the hundreds behind the system. They opened up a number for missed calls. Victims can give a missed call and they will get the call back. (10/n)

Here's the workflow of Project Lifeboat. Missed call line ensured that helpline numbers won't be busy. They could handle more than 200 requests simultaneously. Admins divided 10 numbers to each volunteer. They called back the victims within 10 minutes. (11/n)

Almost 128 volunteers around the world were working hard to ensuring the response rate without sleep. The data sheet was sorted according to various locations and given numbers to a group of 4 volunteers. (12/n)

Just see how Project Lifeboat played a crucial role in rescue mission. They also opened a missed call number for obtaining volunteers. Shows how accurate data is a game changer in rescue missions. (13/n)

Projecr Life boat got 3036 SOS requests, 128 volunteers were part of the project and they had 401 ground level volunteers. Remember most of them haven't seen each other even once. Just wow! (14/n)

Govt IT mission and IEEE team joined to develop keralarescue.in which was an excellent model. The open source model attracted large number of volunteers around the globe. (15/n)

N.Prasanth IAS (@PrasanthIAS)also initiated similar model through Compassionate Kerala movement. Helped to mobilize ground level volunteers. Here's the flowchart. (16/n)

Communities like keralafloodrescue (dot) com, Unitekerala,KeralaNeeds helped to connect the collection centres and relief camps which in turn ensured the demand and supply in a balanced format. (17/n)

Here's Malayala Manorama story on the efforts of online communities in connecting relief camps and collection centres. Prathidhvani, employee organization of Technopark opened up an online help desk too (18/n)

Meanwhile, two parallel efforts were going on at Govt.Barton Hill College to make hundreds of emergency powerbanks and waterprood LED lamps. They were airdropped by the Air Force team. (19/n)

Really happy to see such messages. Social Media raised its level beyond our imagination. All these efforts will be thr part of history and a model for future. If you come across similar efforts please mention here, so that we can compile it here. (20/n)

#Wow Via @crazytwism - Two verified rescue cases where KeralaFloodRescue database and map was able to help (21/n)

Here's the mapping effort done by KeralaFloodRescue team. It really helped @vip_nair

List of online services opened with regard to #KeralaFloods:

∙ Kerala Rescue– keralarescue.in
∙ Google person finder– bit.ly/personfindergl
∙ Google Flood Mapping- bit.ly/floodmapkl
∙ Kerala Flood Rescue App- bit.ly/takyoapp (contd)

List of Online services #KeralaFloods
∙ Locate Me- locateme.online
∙ Rescue App– rescueapp.in
∙ Kerala Floods- keralafloods.ml
∙ Send to Kerala– sendtokerala.in
∙ Kerala Flood Rescue- keralafloodrescue.com

List Continues: #KeralaFloods

∙ Unite Kerala– unitekerala.com
∙ Thrissur Flood– bit.ly/thrissurflood
∙ Micro ID– microid.in/keralaflood
∙ V4Kerala– v4kerala.com
. Life Hunters- lifehunterz.com
. Rescue App- rescueapp.in

Here's the mapping effort by @wti_org_india Snake & Snake bite Emergency Response - Kerala #KeralaFloods


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