Tipping Point: Using Bitcoin to Aid Victims of Tropical Floods

Published on November 30th, 2015 by sgsshankar

It's the usual tropical season here in Chennai, India, but this year is not like any other. Rain brought floods and chaos, causing the city to float. The continuous rain for the past month has surpassed all the odds and brought a halt to the usual life.

Too much rain, too little space

The state of Tamil Nadu has received 485 mm of rain so far. The amount already exceeded the seasonal average of 438 mm. Further rain is expected around the corner as more storms are yet to move to the shore. In November alone, the state has received 352 mm of rain, which is more than twice the monthly average of 170 mm. The city of Chennai has received 1186 mm of rain in the month of November, which is three times the monthly average of 407 mm. On five occasions this month, Chennai recorded three-digit, 24-hour rainfall. The greatest amount of 265 mm fell between November 15 and 16, according to the skymetweather.


Rain, rain, go away

The impact of the rain has been devastating. Water levels in the far part of the city rose, causing all the streets, buildings, and cars to flood. People and animals needed life jackets, as the water reached knee level, with nowhere to drain. In addition, water-logged roads and subways made it hard for people to come out of the house.


To worsen the situation, sewer lines mixed with the drinking water, making people ill. Some of the flooded areas had no drinking water or electricity and people were scared to see water snakes and reptiles floating in the water. The rainy streets were filled with sorrow, as there were some causalities due to the open electric wire on the street, causing the electrocution of a few animals and people. The rescue department went into action and nearly 55,000 people in Chennai and in the neighbouring areas were shifted to safer locations.


Help on the way

NGOs, the government, and fire department rescue teams have sprung into action, helping people in different areas. People distributed food packets and clean water to affected areas. Boats with professional rowers were brought in to move people quickly to dry land. The taxi service Ola offered free boat service for affected areas as part of the mission.


Changecup India, with the help of ChangeTip, collected funds from kind-hearted people to donate to World Vision India to help clean up Chennai. Thanks to bitcoins, financial help was almost instant for donating at the right time.

Whether the effects of the rain were caused by environmental damage or natural wrath is debatable. One thing is for sure. During times like this, people should hold hands to aid and help fellow humans. A technology like bitcoin can also give a hand. I believe in bringing a change, one that is here for good and for the long run. A change for humanity.

Feel free to browse my GitHub open-source Bitcoin projects. Tip this blog or my other work on ChangeTip.

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