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Indian sportspersons come together to aid Chennai Flood victims

Belgian Peter Van Geit, who is a Chennai resident, has mobilised a movement over Facebook as trekkers and swimmers work to rescue victims.

Peter Van Geit Chennai rescue mission 2015 flood
Peter Van Geit (second from left) and other swimmers are physically rescuing those stranded by the Chennai floods

Chennai, in the south of India, has been hit by torrential rains over the past few days, with no respite in sight for the near future. Unable to cope with the downpour, the city, most of which is flooded and waterlogged, has come to a standstill, with several people stranded with no access to food, water or medical supplies they may need.

Social media users, however, have banded together to come to the aid of those affected by the floods. Several people are using social media networks Facebook and Twitter to help organise assistance for Chennai residents, and groups of sportspeople in Chennai have now joined the movement.

The Chennai Trekking Club, a group of naturalists and trekking enthusiasts from the city, have launched their own rescue mission for victims of the floods. In addition to disseminating information, the members of the club have also volunteered accommodation, resources and communication lines for those affected.

Via Facebook, the group have been organising centres to collect food and other important relief materials that may be required as they work to rescue the stranded.

Belgian citizen and Chennai resident Peter Van Geit has brought together a group of locals to help those in need. In addition to the Trekking Club, who are also involved in conservation, several swimmers from the city have also come together in assistance.

With their rescue activities not restricted to social media alone, Van Geit and a group of swimmers have taken to physically evacuating the stranded from low-lying areas that have been more deeply affected by flooding. Armed with floats, the group have also appealed for help from other swimmers on social media to join the rescue mission.

Several have responded to the post on Facebook, offering assistance in terms of food, information and physical help as Van Geit has requested those who wish to join to bring floatation devices to be able to navigate the waters and constant rain.

Others who own or have access to boats have also stepped forward to help as the mission gains steam over the internet.

Rescue mission started at Thoraipakkam. Good swimmers are welcome to join us in evacuating people from more deeply...

Posted by Peter Van Geit on Tuesday, 1 December 2015
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