Google assists Pakistan flood relief efforts

August 17, 2010 at 6:07 pm 7 comments

Pakistan has been struck by the worst flooding in history. The latest statistics indicate that up to 20 million people have been affected – that is more than the combined total of the 2004 Tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Pictures and videos of affectees are heartbreaking.

Amongst others, Google has joined the disaster relief effort by putting its technology to use (official Google blog post). In an email sent out to the community in Pakistan, Google Pakistan Consultant Badar Khushnood, reveals that Google has created a crisis response page (Urdu) that hosts a variety of tools and compiles information about the disaster, including the latest news from local media sources, any available satellite imagery of the affected areas, and ways to donate to verified NGOs supporting the relief effort. It can also be accessed from the homepage.

The Pakistan Person Finder Tool can be used to submit or search for information about people who may be missing in the floods. Similarly, the Pakistan Resource Finder Tool helps disseminate updated information about health facility services, including doctors, equipment and beds available, which may change rapidly during the disaster. These tools are available in English and Urdu. Google is encouraging organizations and media sites to embed the gadgets on their sites and help spread the word. (Instructions on embedding are listed below.)

In addition,Google has made an initial monetary donation of $250,000 to immediately aid in relief efforts. Badar says they are continuing to explore what other tools and imagery they can provide that will be helpful and will be posting updates to the Pakistan disaster response page:

Embedding Instructions for Person Finder and Resource Finder:

Person Finder
Copy and paste the following HTML code to put this tool on your site:
width=350 height=300 frameborder=0
style=”border: dashed 2px #77c”></iframe>

Resource Finder
Copy and paste the following HTML code to put this tool on your site:
width=”950″ height=”495″ scrolling=”no”
frameborder=”0″ marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″
style=”border: 1px solid black”></iframe>

Resource Finder a new tool to help disseminate updated information about which services various health facilities offer. It provides a map with editable records to help relief workers maintain up-to-date information on the services, doctors, equipment and beds available at neighboring health facilities so that they can efficiently arrange patient transfers. Badar says that Google normally wouldn’t release the tool so quickly, but decided to make an early release version of Resource Finder available for supporting relief efforts in Pakistan. This is the first time the tool is being launched during a disaster situation so Google will be working closely with NGOs to understand its usefulness and will iterate accordingly. As a volunteer, you or any NGO can contribute to this tool by adding new resources and/or editing/updating already existing ones.

* Photos credit: (Awab Alvi and Faisal Kapadia)

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Google assists Pakistan flood relief efforts | Tea Break  |  August 17, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    […] This cup of tea was served by: In the Line of Wire […]

  • […] more here: Google assists Pakistan flood relief efforts « In the Line of Wire // Google assists Pakistan flood relief efforts « In the Line of Wire stated listing […]

  • 3. Jeena Roy  |  August 17, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Thanks to Google for being so nice to Us in the time of need 🙂

  • […] Ara at In The Line Of Fire informs that: “Google has created a crisis response page (Urdu) that hosts a variety of tools and […]

  • 5. Pakistani Swede  |  August 18, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    I am not sure what Person Finder tool can be used for in an under-developed society like Pakistan. Good gesture, any how.

  • 6. Badar Khushnood  |  August 18, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Jehan, many thanks for sharing this here! Sincerely appreciate ur help. We hope that Resource Finder will be able to help NGOs & volunteers coordinate health facilities locations & capacities efficiently. Thanks again!

  • 7. Nabiha Zeeshan  |  August 22, 2010 at 12:09 am

    We have also consolidated a list of all resources we have found so far and are constantly updating as we’re getting news of more.
    To see how you can comtribute via:
    1. Text messages
    2. Viewing YouTube videos
    3. Purchasing charity songs
    4. Donating by cash on-line
    5. Donating items to individuals and organisations working for the Pakistan Floods Relief and more, see this post:


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