A shocking picture on social media of elderly women in waist-deep water inside a Texas nursing home prompted an emergency evacuation of the facility.
The photo posted on Twitter on Sunday (27 August) by Timothy McIntosh, whose mother-in-law owns the nursing home, helped rescuers evacuate residents at La Vita Bella Nursing home, which was inundated in water due to Hurricane Harvey that hit Texas on Friday night.
Galveston County Commissioner Ken Clark told ABC News that around 20-25 residents were safely evacuated from the flooded facility in Dickinson. While David Popoff, the city's emergency management coordinator, said that the women were rescued by helicopter.
The rescue operation came after McIntosh posted the picture on Twitter, pleading for help.
"Need help asap emergency services please RETWEET," the man wrote on the media site, which soon caught attention of the thousands of users and the National Guard was notified of the nursing home's situation.
McIntosh then started a series of tweets giving details of the rescue. In his next tweet, he wrote: "Latest update on La Vita Bella home in Dickinson, TX.On "purple" high priority list. Coast Guard on route right now for rescue.#HoustonFlood."
It was reported that by the end of the afternoon, the women were shifted to a safe place.
"RESCUED!! Thank you to the National Guard & the Galveston City Emergency crew for our rescue; @GalvestonOEM #houstonflood @NationalGuard," McIntosh tweeted, thanking for the help.
He told ABC news that he and his family were very grateful and added that he believed the rescue would not have taken place so quickly without the help of people on Twitter.
Meanwhile, the US National Weather Service has said that tropical storm Harvey may not be a typical storm. The department has described it as "unprecedented" and warned that its impact will be "beyond anything experienced".
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has said that it has deployed more than 1,800 staff across Texas in response to the disaster. It was reported that by Sunday evening, Houston police and fire departments had received approximately 6,000 calls for rescue.