Google launches tools to help with Philippines typhoon aftermath

Google launches tools to help with Philippines typhoon

To help with the emergency in the Philippines after Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck, Google launches a series of tools to assist those affected by the disaster. The website can be used by anyone looking for friends or relatives who have been lost, as well as by those who have information about the whereabouts of individuals. With information very hard to get hold off in the area, this is a valuable service to those hunting for loved ones.

It is possible to visit the site and perform a search for anyone using their full name, or just part of it. Where possible, details about whether the individual has been located alive and well are provided, although there is the disclaimer that "Google does not review or verify the accuracy of this data". To help keep the people database up to date, anyone with information is invited to share information about people they know to be alive.

Google's typhoon page is also home to a constantly updated map that provides information about shelters, relief centers and other places that will be of help to victims. Website owners are encouraged to spread the word by embedding the map in their own site, and Google links to organizations such as the Red Cross who are accepting donations to help with the relief effort.

In addition to the main site, there is a mobile version available, and there are also SMS-based options available:

You can also search with SMS by texting 2662999 (Globe), 4664999 (SMART), 22020999 (Sun), or +16508003977 with the message Search [name]. For example, to search for Joshua, text Search Joshua.

This is far from being the first time that Google has stepped in to lend a hand following a natural disaster, and just recently the company donated 17,000 Nexus 7s to Hurricane Sandy communities.

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