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MANILA, Philippines – Google has setup two online services to assist those affected by Typhoon Pablo.
Google Person Finder, a project of the Google Crisis Response division of Google.org was setup to help, “people reconnect with friends and loved ones in the aftermath of natural and humanitarian disasters”. It was first used during the aftermath of the Japan earthquake in 2011.
The database is 100% crowd sourced, meaning it relies on updates by individual users. Google does not fact check any of the submissions. The system has two forms – one for people looking for someone, and for people who have information on someone missing.
According to Aileen Apolo, Google’s Head of Outreach, Southeast Asia, Google has “found Person Finder useful in past disasters where there has been a large number of people displaced and affected, and hope(s) that it proves useful for those affected by Typhoon Pablo.”
Google also setup a crisis map, available in both English and Filipino, that provides typhoon alerts, identifies areas affected by typhoon Pablo and shelter locations.
According to Apolo, “Pinoys need information to stay safe, and the government and first responders are working on helping Filipinos in disaster-prone and disaster-stricken areas stay informed. Google is working with these individuals in creating the crisis response map and Person Finder page to reach more Filipinos in need.” – Rappler.com