Residents queue up to receive treatment and relief supplies at Tacloban airport Monday Nov.11, 2013, following Friday's typhoon Haiyan that lashed this city and several provinces in central Philippines. Typhoon-ravaged Philippine islands faced an unimaginably huge recovery effort that had barely begun Monday, as bloated bodies lay uncollected and uncounted in the streets and survivors pleaded for food, water and medicine. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
Google now has a way for people to find loved ones in the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. The Google Person Finder allows people to post and search for relatives or friends.
Not only can individuals search for people, but the press, non-governmental agencies and other groups can also update the database with information, according to the Google site. Websites can also embed the Google Person Finder into their sites or even use its open source software to create their own Google Person Finder after any disaster. Launched in 40 languages, it can be hosted in most countries.
The Google Person Finder was created in response to the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, so victims could contact loved ones. It also stemmed from websites created after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 which also helped people connect with friends and relatives in the affected Gulf states. Now, instead of searching in several registries to find missing loved ones, Google has created on central database that accepts data from other agencies or sites.
The gadget gives users two choices: "I'm looking for someone" and "I have information about someone" which leads them to type in the name of the person. All information is made publicly accessible. A mobile version is also available.
While the reports may only be that a person is alive, for those looking for any information on loved ones, the site may give them some peace of mind.