Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) have launched services to help those who were affected by the recent earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador.
Google and Verizon have each launched separate services aimed at helping families reconnect with their loved ones after the recent earthquakes that devastated Japan and Ecuador. Google has introduced a feature called Person Finder. The feature is a message board and an open source registry that lets individuals, authorities and non-profit organizations post information about missing persons.
Google has used the tool in the past. It was developed as a response system to the Haiti Earthquake that took place in 2010. The tool was a huge success because it helped to locate more than 616,000 individuals after the Tōhoku tsunami and earthquake in 2011. It was also used after the Chile earthquake in 2010. This time, Google has included language support in Japanese and Spanish.
Google has also included missing people’s cards for its users where they get notifications about safety zones if they happen to be in disaster areas. The company has also offered a donation of $250,000 to recovery volunteers in both countries. Verizon has also done something similar by offering a service where its subscribers can make donations to humanitarian organizations through their monthly bills.
Verizon users can text RELIEF to 864233 and $10 will be designated as their donations to UNICEF and its activities in Ecuador. They can also text JAPAN to 80100 and $10 will be charged from their payments and diverted to relief programs in Japan. The company together with other service providers including AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), T-Mobile US Inc (NASDAQ:TMUS) and Sprint Corp (NYSE:S) have also engaged in other efforts aimed at the welfare of those affected.
The telecommunications firms have waived fees for their US subscribers who have been making calls or texting people in Japan, and the offer was active from April 14 to April 18. There was also a similar deal for calls to Ecuador from April 16 to April 18.