Web technology has emerged as a savior during the time of crisis. The devastating earthquake in Nepal and in some parts of India, which claimed 1,807 lives so far, has led people to use the social networking website Facebook’s Safety App and search engine Google’s People Finder to inform and locate their family and friends. The massive earthquake of 7.9-magnitude rocked the Himalayan nation along with several parts of northern India on Saturday.
In the affected areas, people have been updating their statuses through Facebook’s “Safety App” to inform their distressed family members. The social media website had launched the app in October last year to help people send alerts to their Facebook friends trapped in the affected areas and know about their whereabouts. The idea of safety app had come in the aftermath of the Tsunami in Japan in 2011 where millions of people could not contact their families for weeks. When a person in the affected area updates the safety status through the tool, it marks the individual as safe and sends notification to his or her social network on Facebook.
Google’s Person Finder has been available in English and Nepali to help people update about their safety statuses. This tool works as a database of missing persons and helps their family members to find them. With options such as “I have information about someone” and “I am looking for someone”, the tool lets people to update information they have on any of the missing persons in the database.