Google helps Sendong victims find missing kin

by Jojo Malig,

Posted at Dec 19 2011 06:28 PM | Updated as of Dec 20 2011 04:12 PM

MANILA, Philippines - People looking for friends and relatives who have gone missing because of tropical storm Sendong may find help from Internet tech giant Google.

Google has set up a Person Finder tool to locate people in the disaster-affected areas in Northern Mindanao and elsewhere.

The tool, which is in English and Filipino, also allows people to share information about people in the flooded communities.

To search information regarding a person, one only needs to enter a name in the tool and it will provide information based on records in database.

The tool was tracking 200 records of people as of Monday afternoon.

As of posting, the death toll from Sendong had reached 685 fatalities, with 82 people still missing according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

A total of 84 bodies found in the flooded areas have yet to be identified and claimed by their relatives.

Google also has a user-generated Crisis Map for Sendong, wherein people can share information regarding the disaster-stricken communities in the Visayas and Mindanao.

The crisis map has resources and links to data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the Philippine Red Cross, shelters and evacuation facilities, donation centers, weather updates, and YouTube videos.

Google earlier created similar Person Finder and Crisis Map tools during the Japan earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear leak disaster.