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Google lends disaster relief tools to typhoon stricken Philippines

Philipines Crisis Map

The massive typhoon that crashed into the Philipines late last week has left untold devastation in its wake. Estimated to be the largest in recorded history, Typhoon Haiyan is believed to have caused around 10 000 deaths.

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In a bid to help relief efforts, Google has launched several tools as well as a crisis page, to help gather and relay information in connection with the incredible devastation that’s occurred in the Philippines.

The resources deployed by the internet giant include:

Google Person Finder: a web app that allows individuals to post and search for the status of family or friends affected by the disaster. Online, anyone who’s worried about someone just has to click on “I’m Looking for Someone” and type in their name. If you want to let people know you’re safe or have heard from someone in the area meanwhile, then click on “I have information about someone” and put in their names and details.

The service is also available via SMS, across the country’s mobile networks.

Typhoon Yolanda Relief Map: Google’s used relief maps, which provides updates on shelters and other information from a disaster zone, in previous crises — most notably in the wake of the 2011 Japanese Tsunami.

Google has additionally provided instructions that allow anyone to embed the tools on their sites.

“As the number of names and records build, the tool will hopefully make it easier for those who are safe to pass on their news to anyone worried about them,” Google Southeast Asia’s outreach program manager Aileen Apolo wrote in a blog post.

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