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Posted at 11:50 AM ET, 03/11/2011

Japan Earthquake: Google launches Japanese Quake Person Finder

By Hayley Tsukayama

Updated, 11:45 a.m.

Anyone searching for information about the earthquake or tsunami in Japan will see static links about the response to the natural disasters. Google has made it easy to report or find news about a missing person.

This is similar to Google's efforts after the earthquake in Haiti and the Christchurch area of New Zealand, Google's Japanese Quake Person Finder allows users to share when they have received information that a missing person is alive or to create a record for a new missing person. There are currently about 6,100 records.

The site also provides links to news and other resources -- such as train and blackout information -- and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

For those seeking shelter, there is also a Google Map up showing all the shelter sites in Tokyo. Some of the sites have descriptions of supplies they can offer such as food or bedding. Many shelters also indicate how full they are.

Update: People in Japan are being asked to stay off the phone lines to allow emergency calls to go through. As a result, many are taking to Twitter and Facebook to let family and friends know their status. On Mashable, the site reported that tweets in Tokyo had topped 1,200 per minute.

First-person accounts have been uploaded to YouTube's Citizen Tube, showing dramatic footage from during and after the quake.

Some local Red Cross chapters have already launched efforts to help those in Japan and Hawaii, if necessary. You can help or find more information on how to locate loved ones at the Red Cross's Web site.

Hundreds are feared dead in the aftermath of the quake and tsunami, and the Japanese news agency Kyodo News reported more than 100,000 may be missing.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | March 11, 2011; 11:50 AM ET
Categories:  Google  
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