Impact of Social Media on Chennai Floods

In the first week of December 2015, Chennai, India’s fourth largest city with a metro area the size of Chicago, was paralyzed. Flooding from record rainfall, the heaviest in more than a hundred years, has cut off more than 3 million people from basic services for days.However this has taken a different turn on Social Media. Social media has created a significant impact on Chennai floods by clubbing in people from around the world in providing relief for the flood victims. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Whats App have played a crucial role in spreading message to help marooned citizens in flood ravaged Chennai, with many offering voluntary services and establishing contact with loved ones through these medium. Though several areas were inundated in last week’s heavy rains, people still managed to post messages seeking help or sharing information about those ready to offer help.


Facebook and Twitter hashtags have made a huge contribution on bringing in the attention to many during Chennai floods. Facebook has also started its Safety Status update which provides an alert for Facebook users by marking their status as safe. After Google and Facebook offered to help citizens of Chennai affected heavily by rains, Skype has also joined the list. Chennai locals have already started using Twitter not just to tweet images and updates of the floods, but also to organize and coordinate rescue and relief efforts.

Rain in Chennai Hashtags such as #ChennaiRainsHelp, #ChennaiRescue and #ChennaiMicro are being used by stranded people to ask for  help, as well as help the volunteers to offer food, shelter and transport. Twitter handles such as @ChennaiRains are also sending live updates. Google India also activated its Crisis Response page, which compiles resources for emergency helpline numbers, crowd sourced maps, flooded streets and relief centers. A crowd sourced Google spreadsheet started by Chennai residents  has become one of the most popular platforms for relief efforts. It has a list of shelters and other helping aid being offered by volunteers.


Its overwhelming to watch youngsters utilize the Social Media in such a productive way. Social Media providing a great platform for uniting people from every corner of the world and allowing every single person to be a participant for varied causes. This reflects the utmost potential for our future generations, pushing it to a level were even the current political existence can be challenged and upturned.

2 thoughts on “Impact of Social Media on Chennai Floods

  1. Jacob jayachandra

    Chennai floods :
    Two to three years back the city of Mumbai [ Bombay ] received 100 [one hundred centimeter ] rain with in 24 hours . But Mumbai ‘ s flood waters drained with in one day into sea . This is because all the drainage systems were de-silted before rains and so the water drained into sea easily .
    But in Chennai there was only 49 [ fourty nine ] centimeter of rain in 24 hours . but due to improper drainage system the Channai was completely sub merged under water for 15 days . But the authorities are putting blame on rain gods .
    No political party is telling the fact about Mumbai rains of 100 centimeter & how it drained into sea with out damage .
    In future the government should give importance to experts in civil engineering & structural engineering in high level decision making so as to save general public from natural & man made calamities .
    Chennai has no professionals in the fields of flood discharge planning , earthquake protection engineering , structural engineering in decision making level .That is why natural calamities such as floods & man made calamities such as multi story building collapse are happening . .To redeem & develop Chennai from ruins we must form one Development authority for Chennai comprising of above said professionals as the decision making authorities . They can be selected from IIT , anna university , & PWD to be posted as board of directors along with other regular board members .
    I am writing it in the interest of general public .
    Jacob jayachandra . Chennai .

  2. I found an interesting presentation on Chennai Floods 2015 explaining the disaster with some nice pictures, also providing solution for affected people and the challenges the city faced for next 60-90 days due to water-borne diseases.

    I felt like sharing this interesting presentation.

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