Social Media sites Offer Relief to Disaster Struck Japan

Searching for family amongst the unyielding landscape of disaster. Photo Courtesy of

Ravaged by natural disaster Sunday, Japan’s people search for loved ones amongst the rubble – and their internet connection. While the landscape has been ripped apart by a record 8.9 magnitude quake, a following tsunami and the growing fear of nuclear disaster, people are still struggling to find answers concerning the whereabouts of their family and friends.

Social media is offering a strategic method to search for family, friends and familiar faces.

Google and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) released a person finder site March 11. Both sites allow people to look for or report information on the whereabouts on people in a geographical area. Google’s service includes, according to

Google Person Finder Services –

  • Reference maps
  • CitizenTube, for video
  • Crisis Response Page
  • Multiple language ability
  • Search and provide information on people

ICRC Services –

  • Person Finder
  • Multiple language ability
  • Search and provide information on people

Not only are social media websites assisting on locating people, but they are providing the ability to quickly post on their safety. Hours after the earthquake and tsunami hit, I received a broadcasted message through Facebook from Sayaka (first name only) to notify me on her and her families safety. It read –

Hi Jess,

Please tell your family I’m OK and so is my family. We can’t believe that Tsunami. it is beyond our understanding. It is very important to live one day at a time and cherish everything you are gifted.



Messages, like these, are a gift to those receiving them, they are the exceptional and the reason social media has integrated itself into our lives beyond a fad.