Google Person Finder  2013 Uttrakhand Floods

(By Apurva Chaudhary & Vikas SN)

Update: Google has also launched a Crisis Map for Uttarakhand, which aims to provide information like the places affected by the floods, relief camps, shelters and medical camps in affected areas and road closure information in these regions.

Google Crisis Maps

Besides this, Vodafone has set up 19 helpline centres and is offering communication facilities to affected people through its local distributors and service points, according to a The Hindu Business Report. The company is apparently providing talk time credit of Rs 10 to 40,000 eligible prepaid customers and around 80,000 roaming customers in these regions.

Airtel is also offering talk time credit of Rs 10 to 20,000 of its subscribers whose balance was less than Rs 1, across four districts – Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Tehri Garwhal, reports PTI (via DNA). Airtel has also provided an extra 50 Airtel-to-Airtel local minutes to affected users and has setup free calling booths and a free Emergency Alert Service for registered customers in affected areas.

Earlier (June 21) : Google is offering its Google Person Finder service to offer information on missing people in the flood affected areas in the state of Uttarkhand, India. About more than 150 people are reported dead so far in Uttarkhand cited as the Himalayan Tsunami, officials claim that the death toll will eventually hit the thousands.

Google Person Finder is a web application that allows one to post and search for the status of relatives or friends affected by a disaster. The data entered into Google Person Finder is available to the public and is accessible and searchable by anyone. Google has launched this service in Hindi and English language for the Uttarkhand floods.

One can just enter the name of the person they are looking for and Google provides status on the person. One can also create a missing person record, if the person is not available through the records or provide status of someone they know. At the time of writing this article, Google notes that it’s tracking 1000 records.

Google also allows press agencies, non-governmental agencies and others to contribute to the database and receive updates through the Person Finder API.

The Google Person Finder, a Google Org project, was launched in response to the Haiti earthquake in 2010. Since then it has been used for Boston Marathon Bombing, Floods in the Philippines, among others. Besides the Person Finder, Google also provides crisis map, Google Public Alerts during or after crisis.

Other initiatives:

– The National Disaster Management Authority has listed helpline numbers for control rooms across rain affected areas:

Uttarkashi: (+91) 1374-226461,
Chamoli: (+91) 1372-251437, 9411352136,
Rudraprayag: (+91) 1364-233727, 9412914875,
Tehri: (+91) 1376-233433, 9411548090
Kedarnath: (+91) 1364-233727
Control Room (Uttarakhand): (+91) 135-2710334, 9557444486

– The Uttarkhand government has also set up helpline numbers: 0522-2237515, 0522-2236740 and 6451993.
Fax numbers are: 0522-2238084 and 0522-2236305.
The relief commissioner L Venkateshwarlu’s office number is 0522-2238200 and mobile number is 9415409983.
The email IDs are: relief_commissioner@yahoo.com, mayank_relief@yahoo.com, sforelief2012@gmail.com.

However, TOI notes that many of these numbers were not available when they called up.

– IBNLive has also created a live storify blog, through which it seems to be aggregating information about missing persons and pictures from the disaster place.

– Interestingly, NDTV has integrated the Google Person Finder within their site, and also provides a live blog, news update, video, photos, tweets etc.

Other numbers:

Uttarakhand State Emergency Operation Centre – 0135-2710334
General enquiry numbers – 0135-2710334, 0135-2710335, 0135-2710233
Army Medical Emergency numbers – 18001805558, 18004190282, 8009833388
Joshimath, Karnaprayag and Govindghat – 01372-253785
ITBP helpline and control room – 011-24362892, 09968383478
Disaster Control Room, Police Headquarters, Uttarakhand – 0135-2717300, 09411112985