Google quickly creates online crisis center for Japan earthquake survivors
Google has responded quickly to the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami that hit Japan Friday, creating an Online Crisis Center with many tools to help those who live in the area and also for those who are trying to make cointact with friends or family members. The main tool, the Person Finder for the earthquake, lets you post information about someone for whom you're looking or known information about the whereabouts and condition of a person you know. As of 11 AM the Person Finder had 7200 records and was rapidly growing.
Other tools on the site include alarms for the ensuing tsunamis, a disater bulletin board, train information, blackout information and maps showing where the earthquake hit, available shelter locations and other geological information.
This is a shining example of how technology and the Internet can be used to rapidly deploy information to help survivors in a terrible tragedy. Hopefully those who are bracing for the approaching tsunamis will have access to this as they prepare. It's also a great tool for family members and friends as they try to make contact.