Typhoon Karen: Facebook turns on ‘Safety Check’

MANILA, Philippines – Facebook activated its Safety Check feature as Typhoon Karen (Sarika) passed through Luzon on Sunday, October 16.

Facebook activates this feature in times of disaster and chaos, such as the September 2 bombing incident in Davao City. Safety Check sends notifications to Facebook users in affected areas, asking them if they’re safe. Users then can mark themselves as safe, unsafe, or unaffected and notify their friends.

To check on friends, users will also get a notification from friends who have marked themselves as safe. Clicking the notification brings users to a Safety Check bookmark, showing a list of friends’ updates. 

Karen made a landfall early morning Sunday in Baler, Aurora, with maximum winds of up to 150 kilometers per hour (km/h) and gustiness of up to 210 km/h.

It then weakened as it crossed the rugged terrain of northern and central Luzon. According to state weather bureau PAGASA's 11am bulletin, Karen now has maximum winds of up to 120 kilometers per hour (km/h) and gustiness of up to 200 km/h. 

Two fatalities have been reported, so far, both in Catanduanes.

A number of provinces in Luzon have been put under tropical cyclone signals 1, 2, and 3. – Rappler.com