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Updates on Supertyphoon Yolanda

Google Person Finder for Yolanda Victims Activated

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Google Person Finder has been activated for use following the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda that hit central Philippines including Samar and Leyte provinces.

The tool that Google built following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti is tracking about 6,800 records as of 7 p.m., November 10, 2013.

As the tool is being populated, you can either search for someone or share information about someone’s whereabouts. The tool includes a disclaimer stating that Google doesn’t review or verify any information, and all submitted details are public to all users.

“You can request status via SMS by sending an SMS to +16508003977 with the message Search person-name. For example, if you are searching for Joshua, send the message Search Joshua,” said Google.

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for from Google Person Finder, the Philippine Red Cross’ Social Services Restoring Family Links and Tracing Services is the alternative.

“If you are looking for a family or friend, contact our Social Services Restoring Family Links and Tracing Services,
please call 09175328500,” the PNRC said.

The Red Cross has a similar feature to Google’s Person Finder called Safe and Well, which is currently being used to share whereabouts as well.

Google Person Finder is a project of Google Crisis Response, part of the tech giant’s non-profit arm, Google.org.

According to the provincial government of Leyte, at least 10,000 of its residents are feared were killed by Super Typhoon Yolanda (international codename Haiyan), regional police said on Sunday, November 10.