The last few days have witnessed heavy rains and floods in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, leading to more than 60,000 people being stranded in the several parts of the region.
While the government has set up helpline numbers for people in need need of rescue or assistance, or looking for their loved ones, Internet company Google has also launched an online tool called Person Finder, that it says can help trace missing people in flood impacted regions of Uttarakhand.
The tool is available in both Hindi and English via the URL - google.org/personfinder/2013-uttrakhand-floods
The Google Person Finder is a Web tool that allows individuals to post and search for the status of relatives or friends affected by the disaster.
It's worth pointing out that all data entered into the Google Person Finder is available to the public and searchable and accessible by anyone.
One can simply enter the name of the person they'd like to search for and the tool displays identifying information including the person's name, physical characteristics, home address, description, along with name of the person who posted the information and notes on status of the person if someone encounters the lost person along with a message left by him and other contact details. Individuals can also create a new record with all this information in case they want to post about a missing person.
The tool also allows press agencies, non-governmental agencies and others to contribute to the database and receive updates by using the Person Finder API based on the PFIF open standard.