The govt was actively communicating with citizens and citizen groups

Vardah Having learned from Dec 2015 TN govt impresses with communication
news Cyclone Vardah Monday, December 12, 2016 - 17:24

During the December floods in 2015, the Tamil Nadu government had received a lot of flak for not communicating with citizens. As water inundated Chennai, Cuddalore and Kancheepuram, the government seemed to be in limbo.

But this time, things were different.

On December 11, a day before Cyclone Vardah was expected to cross Chennai, the TN govt got into action. The government put out a detailed advisory asking people to stay indoors. What was surprising that the government used all resources possible to spread the word.

Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and Whatsapp groups created area wise were used by the Chennai Corporation, Chennai City Police and the government to warn people.

On Monday, the Twitter handle of TN Disaster Management Authority (TN SDMA) was buzzing. TNSDMA asked people to send real-time updates on trees uprooted and other blockades caused due to the floods.


The TN government PR department sent timely updates to media on relief centres and rescue work being carried out by the government. The PR department sent status updates of the damage caused by the cyclone and news of ministers and bureaucrats at work.

The AIADMK party’s Twitter and Facebook accounts posted ‘dos and don’ts during the cyclone’. The party handle also actively put out verified information and about government services.

In addition, information flow between the government, citizen groups and NGOs was also consistent. Numbers of officers in charge of relief centres, officers with electricity and health departments were all readily shared by the government.

The Chief Minister’s office too was active in sending press statements and warnings to citizens.