Google’s much publicized efforts with help in times of disaster has come through again as they announced earlier their 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Google Crisis Response center. The center is in response to the massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked the Northeaster shores of Japan.
In the midst of all of the chaos, Google’s center enables people from around the world to pinpoint information regarding the disaster and damage with realtime information.
Most important, people can utilize Google’s Person Finder application to locate loved ones.
Previous efforts by Google were seen during the Egypt protests as well as the Christchurch earthquake.
As of 7 am PST, Google’s Person Finder was tracking 5,500 records and is currently tracking about 7,200 records. Google, however, has warned that they do not review or verify the accuracy of the data. The information is also viewable and usable by anyone.
Google also lists local Japan Emergency numbers, including 171 + 1 + line phone number to leave a message and 171 + 2 + line phone number to listen to the message.
The Google Crisis Response center lists current resources to alarm and warning sites including the Japan Meteorological Agency Tsunami Warnings/Advisories, NTT docomo Disaster message board, train information, blackout information as well as several maps with earthquake information.
Another interesting map view comes from MapLarge, who’s map shoes seismic activity in the seven days leading up to the Japan Earthquake.
For those utilizing the social aspect of Twitter, hashtags #Tsunami, #Earthquake, #JapanQuake and #PrayForJapan surfaced shortly after the earthquake.
Social sites are allowing news to spread faster and wider more than ever before. Shortly after the Japan Earthquake hit, Japan-based reedit user and teacher Poterhouse1980 posted several updates for a freighting firsthand account. Read the entire account on reedit.