Support, Condolences And Offers Of Help Flood Belgian Social Media
#OpenHouse, #Ikwilhelpen and local Facebook groups reach out to those affected by the Brussels bombings
Hours after a string of coordinated terror attacks tore through Brussels, Belgians and people around the world are flooding social media with information, support, and offers to help the wounded and those whose lives have been upended by the chaos in the European capital.
Belgian Facebook groups are overrun with posts offering shelter to bombing victims or anyone without a place to stay in Brussels, as well as rides to shelter, and pleas and offers for blood donations. A series of explosions at the Brussels airport, along with an apparently coordinated bombing at a subway station, left dozens dead, more than 100 wounded on Tuesday morning.
One group that normally acts as an online marketplace like Craigslist was filled with informational posts about the attacks. One post said the Saint-Pierre University hospital in Brussels was filled to the brim, and anyone who needed medical care should go to a different hospital nearby. The same post said the hospital was in need of blood types O and A.
Several posts in the same group, such as this one, offered housing to travelers who needed a place to stay:
Hundreds of people in Belgium used the hashtags #ikwilhelpen (I want to help) and #OpenHouse to coordinate car rides and houses to stay for people affected by the attacks.
Bedroom available in Ixelles (Brussels) tonight. Near EU/Maelbeek. Can pick you up if needed. #openhouse #ikwilhelpen #Brussels
— corentin depaire (@funqt) March 22, 2016
#OpenHouse in Ixelles tonight. Wifi & couch. Contact me in DM if interested. #Brussels
— Juliette Dimet (@Moirane) March 22, 2016
On a more nerve-wracking note, some posted photos of their loved ones who were in Brussels at the time of the attack on Facebook, asking if anyone knew of their whereabouts.
Translation: “I have no news of my son, ILIAS. Please if anyone has any news?”
As news of the violence spread, condolences and messages support also began surfacing around the world under #JeSuisBruxelles and others. One striking image came from a Muslim refugee in Greece.
A #refugee boy holds up placard reading "Sorry for Brussels" near #Idomeni REUTERS/@Grulovic #brusselsattack pic.twitter.com/V21BcdedFY
— Reuters Paris Pix (@ReutersParisPix) March 22, 2016