Web and social media sites including Google, Twitter and Facebook have stepped up in the hours following the massive earthquake off the coast of north eastern Japan on Friday to provide invaluable support to those affected by the disaster.
Google launched a version of its People Finder service shortly after the 8.9 magnitude quake to help anyone trying to track down friends or family.
The tool, which can also be embedded on third-party sites, allows users to either search for people or upload information on people and can be accessed in English, Japanese, Korean and Chinese.
By Saturday morning, the application, which was also used by the firm in the aftermath of the huge Chilean earthquake in February 2010, had a whopping 45,600 records available.
Google has also posted a message beneath the search bar on its homepage, directing people to a general resource page about the earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
This includes links to not only the People Finder app but also useful resources such as train and aircraft company web sites, power company sites, disaster message boards from the major mobile operators, meteorological agencies, maps and real-time news and Twitter updates.
With mobile networks even as advanced as those in Japan struggling to cope with the sheer volume of calls being generated by their subscribers, Twitter and Facebook are also proving to be an important secondary means of communication.
Top trending topics on Twitter even in London continue to be dominated by related terms such as Fukushima, Tokyo, Japan, Sendai and NHK.
Facebook was also awash with new pages such as Japan Earthquake and Support Japan Earthquake, while users have used their status updates and the site's messaging functionality to get important messages to friends and family.
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