Brussels blasts: Google makes calls via Hangouts to Belgium and Turkey free
Brussels blasts: Google makes calls via Hangouts to Belgium and Turkey freeGoogle

Google announced Wednesday that it is offering free calls via Hangouts to Belgium and Turkey, after a series of blasts rocked Brussels killing at least 34 people. Users around the world can take advantage of Google's service to call their loved ones in the affected areas using Hangouts, Hangouts Dialer, or Google Voice.

"We are deeply saddened and appalled by the bombings in Brussels today, and by the recent violence in Turkey," Google said in a Google+ post. "Our thoughts are with the victims of these attacks, and their families."

Users can make free calls to Belgium's major mobile carriers, including Lycamobile, Mobistar, Proximus and Telenet, and all landlines in Turkey, which was hit by similar attacks killing at least four people last week. Google is also updating its Google Now cards to provide transit information within Brussels and a direct link to the Government Crisis Centre.

Android smartphone users can download the Hangouts Dialer app from Play Store, while iPhone users can fetch the app from iTunes for free.

Google's offering comes shortly after Facebook activated its safety check feature for people in Brussels Tuesday. The congested mobile networks in the Belgium's capital thwarted the communication lines significantly and the authorities have advised people to use services like Facebook and WhatsApp.

Twitter users are using the platform to show support and offer help to the people in Brussels. The hashtag #BrusselsLift is widely used to ask for rides and get car spaces in the city.

There were a series of explosions in the Brussels airport and the city's metro Tuesday morning. The Islamic State group has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attacks. One of the key suspects of the Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, was captured Friday following several raids in Brussels, which some reports have speculated to be the prime reason behind the Brussels blasts.

The terror alert continues to stay at its highest level in Brussels and people are advised to stay indoors.