Nov 10, 2013

Google People Finder for Typhoon Yolanda

Google has put technology into good use with its offering of the Google Person Finder.  The Google People Finder for Typhoon Yolanda portal is now in operation and ready to accept requests for missing persons as well as information on found ones.

In the wake of the devastating Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), many areas in the Visayas region in central Philippines were badly hit.   Communication and power lines went down, with airports, roads and major infrastructure damaged.  This makes it harder for rescue operations and humanitarian relief efforts to reach the affected communities.

What is even worse is that with the lack of access to the affected locations, there is also a blackout of any valid and concrete news about the status and whereabouts of citizens living in these areas.  What little news that trickles in  involves the increasing count of dead bodies found.  Such news further elevate the anxiety of fellow Filipinos and especially of relatives living in other areas in the Philippines and other parts of the world.

With Google Person Finder for Typhoon Yolanda, everyone who has online access can now post and search about the status updates of relatives, friends or acquaintances who may be affected by the calamity.  When not in the database, the web program will add the name of the missing person to the database.

Last November 9, the total records in the database related to Typhoon Yolanda was at 200, but as of this writing, the total number of persons tracked is at 4,700 and increasing.

The Google Person Finder is an initiative of the Google Crisis Response division of

Click on this link to access Google People Finder for Typhoon Yolanda.

This service is also available via SMS.  You can request for the status of the person by texting: Search person-name to 2662999 (for Globe subscribers) and +16508003977.


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