Google helps find missing 'Pablo' victims

Posted at 12/06/12 6:55 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Internet search giant Google has launched a Person Finder page to help Filipinos reconnect with friends and relatives who have gone missing due to typhoon "Pablo" (international codename "Bopha").

The Person Finder tool helps locate people in disaster-affected areas.

If users have information about a missing person, they can provide details on the page by filling out a form about the person's status.

To search information regarding a person, people need to fill out another form and provide the person's name, then the tool will provide information based on the records in its database.

If nothing turns up in Google's records, users can also enter information about that missing person by filling out a separate form.

"We've found Person Finder useful in past disasters where there has been a large number of people displaced and affected, and hope that it proves useful for those affected by Typhoon Pablo," Aileen Apolo, head of the Google's Outreach Team for Southeast Asia, said in a statement.

Google clarified, however, that it does not review or verify the accuracy of the data entered in its database.

'Pablo'-related Youtube videos in crisis map

Google also set up on Tuesday a crisis map to help Filipinos, especially those in disaster-affected areas, keep track of typhoon "Pablo."

The tool, which was made through Google Maps, gives real-time updates on the strength and track of the typhoon, and the storm signals being raised in different parts of the country.

The map, which is in English and Filipino, also provides links to emergency hotlines, and the location of all shelters and evacuation facilities in the country.

People can also get information on how to help residents in disaster-prone areas using the Google crisis response page.

On Thursday, Google also tagged in its crisis map YouTube videos that are related to 'Pablo.'

"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," Apolo said.

Globe users can access the tool for free using Free Zone in their mobile browsers. -- With ANC