Instead of sitting on its hands during the tsunami that has stricken Japan today, Google has put together a Person Finder tool where people worried about the plight of their loved ones can look them up by name. There are only a few thousand records up on the site at the moment, but it should still be a useful repository for missing person data, particularly since mobile networks were taken down by the tsunami’s damage earlier this morning. Information should also start piling up as recovery efforts continue. Let’s just hope this Person Finder won’t have to be used for too long and things can be brought back to normal soon.

The system can be used for those looking for both Japanese residents and for tourists visiting the country.

It is the second time in the space of a month that Google has deployed the service following a huge earthquake which hit the New Zealand city of Christchurch in February.

Sendai Airport in North East Japan was hit by the tsunami shortly after the quake, which is estimated to have taken place around 150 kilometres offshore.
Google has now pushed the tsunami alerts to its main homepage too.