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Friday, January 15th, 2010 - No comments

Haiti: Rescuing survivors, searching for the missing

As people search for the missing following the earthquake in Haiti, online networks and database prove crucial.

Here are just a few of the online networks and databases which have mobilized in the last few days to help relatives abroad locate family and direct urgently needed help to survivors, many of whom are still trapped beneath the wreckage of their own homes.

The International Committe of the Red Cross has an extensive online database of the missing where friends or family.

Major news organizations like the New York Times and CNN , as well as Google, have also set up databases for the missing.  A site called Haiti Earthquake Support Center is working on a tool which would allow volunteers to help match faces in news photographs to faces of missing persons.

The Facebook Group EARTHQUAKE HAITI currently has over 150,000 members and more than 4,000 photographs posted by family looking for loved ones.

Ushahidi, used to great effect during the Kenyan election crisis, is also mapping crisis information, including missing persons reports, information about collapsed buildings, and road conditions.

On Twitter, the tag #relativesinhaiti is being used by Haitians abroad who are still trying to locate missing relatives.  Meanwhile, #rescuemehaiti is being used to direct search & rescue efforts to specific addresses around Port-au-Prince where survivors are known to be still trapped under the rubble:

Christopher Frecynet still alive. They heard him screaming. 64 Rue Nord Alexis. Call cousin Daphney 509-39046983

63 people still alive Carribean Market. survivor sent txt so we can send help. PLEASE LET PPL KNOW

Heloise Boyer is trapped in her house #40 Rue O, Turgeau.

HELP IS NEEDED ! People still alive under College Canapé Vert are screaming for help to get them out …

Latitude: 18°31′25.74″N Longitude: 72°16′28.25″W #bresma #Haiti We need food and water to approx. 150 people there NOW

This blog-post was originally posted at Global Voices on January 15, 2010.

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The views expressed in this blog-post are solely those of the author.

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Guest Editor

Jennifer Brea

Editor, student, Global Voices


I am a first-year graduate student studying political economy at Harvard. I blog commentary on African politics (and now, frequently, the everything of everywhere) at Africabeat and photographs at my Flickr photostream. I am Global Voices' French editor, covering francophone blogs from Africa, the Middle East, Oceania, Europe and the Caribbean.

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