In the wake of tragedy, residents of Nice took to Twitter to open their doors to fellow Frenchmen and tourists who needed help or shelter in the aftermath of Thursday night’s deadly attack in the French city.
At least 84 people were killed when a French resident of Tunisian descent drove a truck through crowds celebrating Bastille Day along Nice’s beachfront, leaving a trail of bodies over more than 100 metres. Video shot by terrified civilians shows crowds fleeing in panic, leaping onto the beach below, until police fatally shot the driver.
The hashtag #PortesOuvertesNice – which translates to “Open Doors Nice” – quickly began trending as residents offered those affected places to stay, co-ordinate rides and offer support to foreigners stranded in the capital.
“I am on Rue Du Congrès, do not hesitate if you need to take cover.”
WATCH: How social media impacted the Nice attack
The hashtag #PortesOuvertes was first used during the terror attack in Paris in November 2015. A similar hashtag –
#ikwilhelpen, which translates to “I want to help” – was used in Belgium during the attack on Brussels in March.
“The magic of Internet: #PortesOuvertesNice if you need to get away.”
Variations of the hashtag were also used to help locate missing people and help co-ordinate free taxis.
A Twitter account named SOS Nice (@urgencesnice) was also started where people posted photos of loved ones who were either in Nice at the time of the incident or are now missing. Facebook also activated its Safety Check feature. The tool allows users living in an affected area to notify their Facebook friends that they’re safe.
Canadians who have friends or relatives in Nice are urged to contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre by calling 613-996-8885 or 1-800-387-3124, or by sending an email to email@example.com. Canadian citizens in Nice can also contact the Embassy of Canada in Paris at +33 (0)1 44 43 29 02.