Links to help you find friends and loved ones who were affected by the earthquake in Japan
3:44 PM, Mar 11, 2011
8:58 PM, Mar 11, 2011
(CANVAS STAFF REPORTS) - Government agencies and Google are helping people search forfriends and loved ones who may have been affected by the 8.9magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan Friday.
People concerned about the safety of friends and familytraveling overseas can take steps such as trying to regularlyphone, text or email the people and their traveling companions.
They can also check with other family members to see if theyhave heard from anyone or contact their travel agent or airline toget details on their travel arrangements.
The U.S. Department of State can help pass messages tomissing Americans. Its website states that consular officers can usethe information provided to find the individual and pass along themessage.
People can also check with local authorities to see if there arereports of citizens hospitalized, arrested or otherwise unable tocommunicate. Circumstances dictate whether consular officers canpersonally search for people.
Citizens in Japan can reach the state department in an emergencyby e-mailing JapanEmergencyUSC@state.gov . Citizens overseascan call the state department at 1-202-501-4444.
Google in response to the crisis has launched a Person Finder tool, available in both Englishand Japanese, to help victims and families locate each other.People can either state they are looking for someone or that theyhave information about someone.
As of 10:45 a.m. EST the Google's person finder logged 7,200records. Google created a similar tool after a large quake struckChili in February 2010.
A Google Crisis Response page is also availablewith information about the earthquake and related tsunami. The pagehas maps and updated news.
The American Red Cross has a similar tool called " Safe and Well ." People in a disaster zone canregister themselves as safe and well. Those searching can scan thelist by clicking on the "search registrants" button.
The Red Cross urges people to continue searching asvictims may register once they reach a shelter. People searchingcannot register on the Red Cross site.
To search either a pre-disaster phone number, either home, workor cell, or a complete home address is needed.
If a loved one has a serious, pre-existing health or mentalhealth condition it is possible to initiate an EmergencyInformation Request by calling a local Red Cross chapter or1-800-RED-CROSS.