Facebook Safety Check activated for Typhoon Dianmu in northern Vietnam

By Tuan Hung   August 19, 2016 | 04:16 pm PT
Facebook Safety Check activated for Typhoon Dianmu in northern Vietnam
A street in Hai Ba Trung District in Hanoi is under water following heavy rains during Typhoon Dianmu. Photo by VnExpress/Tran Huan
This is the first time the feature has been turned on for an incident in the Southeast Asia nation.

Facebook on late Friday afternoon surprised many by activating the Safety Check feature for those affected by typhoon Dianmu in Hanoi and other northern provinces in Vietnam.

Previously, the feature was only activated for incidents believed to be large-scale like the bombing in Lahore, Pakistan in March this year, the Paris terror attacks in November last year, and the deadly earthquake in Nepal in April 2015.

The feature, which was announced in October 2014, does what its name implies. If a user is near an incident, he/she will receive a Facebook notification asking if the user is safe.

Facebook identifies a user’s location by looking at the city listed in his/her profile, or by seeing where he/she checked in if the user uses the Nearby Friends feature.

If the user is safe, he/she can select the "I'm Safe" option, and Facebook will create a Newsfeed story to show his/her friends and family that he/she is not in danger. His/her friends can also mark him/her as safe.

Safety Check also sends a user a notification if the friends and family he/she knows are in the affected area and have been marked as safe.

Despite reducing to a low-pressure system as it made landfall in Vietnam, Typhoon Dianmu on Friday left a trail of destruction across Hanoi, deluging streets, toppling trees and sweeping away motorbikes.

The typhoon also damaged various other northern provinces including Quang Ninh, Nam Dinh, Thai Binh, and Hai Phong City.

Several flights and thousands of tours to and from the affected areas have been cancelled due to Dianmu.

Dianmu is the third typhoon this season. The second typhoon, Nida, caused landslides and flash floods in northern Vietnam, stranding tourists in the popular mountainous town Sapa. Mirinae, the first to hit Vietnam this year, claimed the lives of seven people, injured 63 and felled about 1,000 trees across the capital just last month.

The rainy season in northern Vietnam lasts from August to November and experiences on average 12 to 13 typhoons and low pressure systems. 

Related news:

Typhoon Dianmu leaves path of destruction in northern Vietnam

Thousands of tours canceled as Typhoon Dianmu batters Vietnam

go to top