The world flocks to the Web after Chile earthquake

Google, Twitter, Facebook and others are being used to offer and seek help and information

After Chile's massive earthquake and potential Pacific Rim tsunami damage, relief organizations, government agencies, corporations and throngs of people are on Google, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other services to seek and provide information and help.

Just like it did after Haiti's devastating earthquake, Google has launched a Chile-specific version of its People Finder application where users can either search for or offer information about a person affected by the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Chile early on Saturday

In addition, Google has set up a Crisis Response site about the Chile disaster where people can make donations to Unicef and Direct Relief International using the company's Checkout service. That Crisis Response site also has links to Google services like YouTube, Maps and News with Chile earthquake information and resources.

As usual whenever events of global significance occur, Twitter is posting a constant stream of messages, many of them tagged with the labels #hitsunami, #terremotochile, #chilequake and #chile, among others. In addition to people posting updates and asking questions, relief organizations are offering guidance, like Chile's Red Cross via its account CruzRojaInforma.

On Facebook, Pages and Groups are popping up where people are posting links, photos and videos, as well as seeking information, about the earthquake and possible tsunamis, like Chile Earthquake, Terremoto Chile. People can also see Twitter-like status updates from individuals on Facebook by entering keywords like Chile or tsunami on Facebook's search box and filtering the results by Posts by Everyone.

Ustream.tv has channels broadcasting reports about Chile and the tsunamis.

As with Haiti's tragedy, people can donate via their mobile phones to Chile relief efforts by texting the word "Chile" to 25383 to donate $10 to Habitat for Humanity, to 20222 to donate $10 to World Vision and 52000 to donate $10 to the Salvation Army, according to the Mobile Giving Foundation, which is in charge of processing these donations.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service is providing updates on the possibility of tsunamis slamming against Hawaii and other Pacific Rim coastal areas.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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