The terrible earthquake which struck Christchurch yesterday has shocked us all. As a Kiwi now living in New York, I’ve been anxious for everyone affected in New Zealand and simultaneously encouraged by how quickly people have come together to help.
We know that a lot of people are trying to contact the people they love and care about to make sure they’re OK; we also know that during a time of crisis, it can be very difficult to reach people.
We have launched Google Person Finder to help people connect with their loved ones. Person Finder is a simple application which allows people to check on and update the status of relatives or friends affected by a disaster.
Person Finder for the Christchurch earthquake can be found at this link: http://christchurch-2011.person-finder.appspot.com/
Working with a small team of Googlers in New Zealand and around the world, we also launched an informational page with maps, videos and other resources, including a real-time news stream. The link for that page can now be found on the google.co.nz homepage and emergency information will appear on top of the results page for those in New Zealand searching for relevant terms.
If you are in need of emergency assistance:
Emergency assistance number: 0800 779 997
For local emergencies, call: 111
For missing people: Google Person Finder or 0800 733 276
Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the earthquake, and we add our thanks to the emergency services personnel and volunteers from around the country for all they are doing to help.