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Mumbai Uses Internet, Twitter to Cope With Terror Blasts

After three deadly blasts in the city late Wednesday, the people of Mumbai are using the Internet and social networks to help coordinate blood donations, hospitals, and even shelter for people.

On Twitter, users were asking for and offering blood, places to stay and transport, and offering to communicate messages to relatives. Special hash tags like #here2help, #needhelp and #mumbaiblasts were in place on Twitter soon after the blasts to coordinate rescue work.

Twitter, Facebook and other networks were also used to popularize an online spreadsheet on Google Docs, set up by Nitin Sagar. The spreadsheet, called Mumbai Help, can be updated by the public and includes information on hospitals, TV channels, blood donors and communications from people requesting or offering help.

FM radio channels are also passing messages to relatives, alerting on disturbances and conveying requests for blood donations and other kinds of help.

Described as terrorist attacks by the Indian government, the blasts at three different busy locations in Mumbai left about 20 people killed and more than a hundred injured, according to reports.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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