Mumbai Rains Fuel Rumours of Cyclone & Wrong Traffic Updates: Beware of Fake WhatsApp Messages During Crisis
Mumbai has once again been pounded with heavy rains for the second day in a row and people are facing several issues to function in the financial capital. However, this flood like crisis situation has also fuelled various fake messages and alerts on WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media platforms. From rumours of a cyclone hitting the city to texts claiming that the Worli Sea Link and Sion Bridge will be shut down, Fake WhatsApp messages have been spreading like a wildfire in this crisis situation. The most logical thing to do currently is following official handles of the Mumbai Police, Mumbai Traffic Police as well as the official reports that are trying to spread the right news. Mumbai Rains: Twitterati List Problems Faced Due To Cancelled Flights, Water logging & Delayed Trains
The city has been pounded with continuous rain for more than 24 hours and the weather reports predict that the downpour will continue for the next 24 hours. While the traffic in the city is moving slowly and the trains are functioning with a small delay, the Mumbai rains rumours have painted a picture that is far more terrifying than the reality. There are several responsible citizens, politicians and government organisations that are trying to spread the right messages and it’s important to have a fact check on the WhatsApp forwards, Tweets and Facebook statuses that we have been seeing.
1. Mumbai will NOT be hit by a cyclone
As informed by IMD there is no cyclone warning for Mumbai. Citizens r requested not to spread & trust rumour-DMU
— Disaster Management (@DisasterMgmtMum) September 20, 2017
Several reports of a cyclone moving towards the city via the Arabian Sea have been going around from morning. The reports claiming that the financial capital has been issues with a cyclone warning scared many people who decided to stay indoors and spread the fear around. However, according to the Disaster Management team, there is no cyclone that is coming towards Mumbai. While the city will continue to receive the showers, the cyclone warning is nothing but a rumour.
2. Bandra Worli Sealink, Sion Bridge NOT shut down
— Mumbai Police (@MumbaiPolice) September 20, 2017
The news of Bandra Worli Sealink and other bridges being shut down because of the rains have also been blindly spread on WhatsApp. The fake message reads, “Worli Sea Link Closed for expected Cyclone at 3.00 PM. Pedder road is closed. Sion bridge is shut all cars have been told to take u turn and go back. SV Road from Bandra to Santa Cruz is close due to rain. Bandra linking road flooding.” However, the Mumbai Police just shared a traffic update that confirms that both the bridges are functioning with moving traffic.
3. Trains are working
All local trains running, a bit late but still running#MumbaiRains
— You’llNeverWalkAlone (@abhijeet_prabhu) September 20, 2017
The rumours of the Mumbai locals being shut down have become a common event, every time the city is pounded with rains. While the city’s locals failed Mumbaikars during the August 29 downpour, the local trains are up and running this time around. While there is a nominal delay in the train timings of 10-15 mins, the Mumbai local continues to function.
4. Fake water logging pictures
— dipali7 (@dipali7) September 20, 2017
There are pictures of Oberoi Mall in Goregaon, Mumbai being circulated on WhatsApp where water-logging is visible. However, a Twitter user by the name of Dipali7 has shared images from the site and confirmed that there is no water-logging near the mall at least. “Oberoi mall, Goregoan @ 3.30 PM no waterlogging. Images that are being spread on WA are fake. Please dont believe in rumors. #MumbaiRains,” the tweet read.
Mumbai citizens need to get off WhatsApp and read a book. Too many rumours lead to panic. #MumbaiRains
— Madhuri Banerjee (@Madhuribanerjee) September 20, 2017
The viral WhatsApp message that is being circulated also states that if the rain does not stop or slow down the electricity will be shut off. The message also advises people to charge their devices and inform others. The habit of having your devices charged to prepare for heavy showers is actually a logical solution, however, the message has been sent to hundreds with the disclaimer ‘Forwarded was received’ has been mainly responsible for the fuelling the rumours. As responsible citizens, it is important to make sure that the messages that you are forwarding are actually true, especially in the time of a crisis like the Mumbai rains.