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Google Person Finder for Chilean earthquake

After Saturday’s magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Chile, Google has launched a tool to help people locate loved ones and friends who may have been affected by the quake and aftershocks.

Google Person Finder had 33,000 records when I just looked, and allows users to search, in English or Spanish, for information about people by name or to leave information for people. A Google crisis response page notes that Americans who seek information can call the U.S. State Department at 1-888-407-4747. The page also includes a map of recent seismic activity in Chile and ways to donate money to charities helping in earthquake relief. The page warns users that all data input would be viewable and usable by all and that Google plays no role in verifying the information.

I am proud that a Silicon Valley company as large as Google can respond so quickly, on a weekend, to provide this kind of assistance, and wonder why other large companies HAVE NOT.

The CNET article notes that:

“…donations can also be made via text message, according to the Mobile Giving Foundation, the organization that processes the donations. Cell users can make a $10 donation to the effort by texting the word “Chile” to any of the following numbers: 25383 (Habitat for Humanity), 20222 (World Vision), and 52000 (Salvation Army).”

Aftershocks of the 8.8-magnitude quake have ranged from 4.9 to 6.9, and the death toll this evening exceeds 700 and will no doubt rise.

-Bill at

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