Google launches ‘Person Finder’ tool after NZ earthquake

22 Feb 2011

Internet search giant Google has set up ‘Person Finder’, an online tool to help users request and post information about loved ones missing as a result of the 6.3-magnitude earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Person Finder already has thousands of records of missing people and those who are letting their loved ones know they’re safe.

Another new website by New Zealand’s Earthquake Commission lets people in Christchurch tell emergency services what the situation is like on the ground. Users can tweet to #christchurch, or #eqnz or #ChristchurchQuake to provide information about people who are trapped or where damaged buildings are located.

The site also lists residents’ reports as they come in, which include live pictures and locations of working ATMs and payphones.

Users can log where they are on the map, in and around Christchurch, and the website sends an alert if any report comes in within 20 kilometres of a user’s location.