Kerala, the southern state of India has been reeling under heavy rains for the past few weeks and has suffered the worst flood in more than a century. The central government has pressed in services of Indian Army, Navy, Air Force and the National Disaster Response Force for the rescue operations. It is touted to be the largest human search and evacuation mission in the country's history as more than 2,00,000 have been rescued by air and boat.
Despite huge efforts, more than 300 lives have been lost, while several more are still missing. Now, technology majors Google and Facebook have come forward to help track the location of the people with handy tools -- person finder and safety check button -- that notifies their loved ones that they are safe.
Here's how to use Google's Person Finder:
Step 1: Type Google Person Finder or click this link (here) >> tap the blue-hued button 'I'm looking for someone to locate and find information of missing person or tap the green-shaded button 'I have information about someone' to update the health and location details of a particular person.
[Note: be sure to search with correct names and also it goes without saying that if you know a person, update the database with the correct spelling --first, middle and surname]
Readers can also type 'Kerala floods' on Google search and you will get the local emergency contact details, resource information and other details.
Here's how to use Facebook safety check:
Step 1: Open Facebook>> If you happen to be in the region affected by natural calamity or any emergency, Facebook will ask he/she to mark themselves that they are safe and let their loved one know about the status of the situation.
If you also want to know whether your friend or family relative is safe or not, type 'Crisis Response' and he/she will see the list of persons marked as 'safe' and the user can also read latest reports on crisis report of other regions of the world.
Besides Kerala, Coorg ( aka Kodagu), Hassan, Chikkamagaluru, Shivamogga, Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada and coastal district Udupi of neighbouring state of Karnataka is also facing unrelenting rains causing floods and landslides.
Several people have been cut off from resources and stuck in their residences for days. The state and central emergency services have been pressed in to locate the affected people. So far, close to 1,000 people have been shifted to rescue camps.