The Kerala state government has issued a warning against those spreading fake news. The government said strict action would be taken against those individuals found spreading fake information about the ongoing floods in the state.
The state announced the warning after images and videos of flood and the devastation from last year’s floods were being circulated through social media to spread panic among the citizens.
A new website called Kerala Rescue has been started by the government to coordinate relief work. The need for a centralised source for announcements arose after several fake WhatsApp forwards on water levels at dams started doing the rounds.
The website provides information on relief camps, needs of a district and collection centres for relief material, announcements and details on private relief and collection centres. It allows volunteers, NGOs and companies to register as volunteers. It allows you to request a rescue operation in flooded places and gives you the list of hospitals enlisted to help with the rescue operations.
Thrissur District collector S Shanavas took to Facebook to issue a warning against those spreading fake news about flood situation on the ground. “Fake news on the opening of Peechi dam in Thrissur is being spread on WhatsApp. Those spreading fake news, which will cause panic, will face legal action under section 54 (Punishment for false warning) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005,” wrote Shanavas.
Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) also urged the public to refrain from believing and forwarding WhatsApp messages about the flood and rains in the state.
KSDMA also gave a list of numbers which could be called for help.
For the help of Navy, call 8281292702. 0471-4851335
State Disaster Prevention Emergency Number: 1070
District emergency numbers; Toll free number: 1077 (must add std codes).
Idukki: 0486 2233111, 0486 2233130
Ernakulam: 0484 2423001
Thrissur: 0487 2362424, 9447074424
Palakkad: 0491 2505309, 2505209, 2505566
Malappuram: 0483 2736320, 0483 2736326
Kozhikode: 0495 2372966, 04962620235, 04952223088
Wayanad: 8078409770, 04936204151
Kannur: 0497 2700645 0497 2713266 8547616034
Kerala State Emergency Operations Centre - 0471-2364424, Fax: 0471-2364424
Kerala State Disaster Management Control Room - 0471-2331639, Fax: 0471-2333198