Google Launches 'Person Finder' After Japanese Earthquake
Showing its global reach, Google has launched a Person Finder: 2011 Japan Earthquake tool to help people connect with victims of the devastating magnitude 8.9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan at about 3 p.m. local time (1 a.m. EST).
The Person Finder website is available in Japanese, English and other languages, and Google has provided the html code for developers to embed a link to the application in other sites.
The online tool enables users to search for missing people by name or to provide information about the known whereabouts and status of persons who may have been in the affected areas. This is similar to a site Google launched in response to the recent earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand, as well as earlier sites for earthquakes in Chile and Haiti.
Google, in recognition of its over-80 percent market share worldwide for web searches, has many other resources available to victims, aid workers and the concerned public under its online Crisis Response project. Examples include emergency numbers, transportation status links and warning and update services.
A number of handy maps are also available, including a Japanese language-only Google Map showing the location of shelter sites in Tokyo that indicate the supplies available and the occupancy level.