How tech-companies helps in the latest Japan Quake & Tsunami crisis.

March 11, 2011 will always be remembered as the beginning of the wave of disasters for Japan. As the earthquake on the Magnitude of 9.0 hit near the east coast of Honshu, Japan many people in the world are still gathering information everywhere.

As news sounded alarm that an major earthquake had struck Japan, the information got out like wild fire as earthquake alerts sounded throughout twitter and other social network like facebook.

Many other tech companies started to innovate & think of ways to help during this crisis as the sea water withdrew back into the sea before coming back with a vengeance.

Apple

  1. Apple Stores begin to let victims of the earthquakes access to their store’s WIFI to stay connected with their lost ones online
  2. created an iTunes Donation page (USA Only for now)
  3. Hundreds of applications on iTunes can be used to either find more information about the disaster in Japan such as “NHK WORLD TV Live” that telecast live news broadcast about the crisis live across all iOS devices and many more!

Google

  1. created Google Person Finder specifically for Japan Earthquake & Tsunami crisis [Japanese version]
  2. created Google crisis response page with Google Map of affected region in Japan
  3. Google will donate $250,000 to Japanese relief agencies
  4. created citizentube which is youtube with some “updated” videos about the crisis in Japan

Facebook

  1. Using the reaction of facebook comments regards to Japan’s earthquake & Tsunami crisis, created a visualization of affected users. (This probably does not help anyone but simply to show that Facebook can do it)
  2. Able to use Facebook Stories to read or post stories of the crisis, go in & click on Japan and read away however it seems to me that this is not fully utilized by the Japanese.
  3. Millions of chatters about earthquake but only spread among friends & family members

Twitter

  1. Millions of tweets had been sent right after the big 9.0 earthquake struck & many millions or billions more tweeted with “earthquake” or “#prayforjapan” or “Tsunami”
  2. Raw video footage had been re-tweeted by millions even before news agencies picked on them for rebroadcasting
  3. Continue to work as long as there’s internet connection
  4. Even the US State Department resorted to using Twitter to publish emergency numbers, and informing Japanese residents in America how to contact families back in Asia.
  5. Relief organisations used Twitter to post information for non-Japanese speakers to lists of shelters for those left homeless.

Skype

  1. Skype continued to work as the telephone lines got jammed up

UStream

  1. Provided live news broadcast with multiple channels such as “Live Japan Earthquake news mirror from NHK for foreigners” that have English voice over LIVE!?

There could be much more that technology can further assist the people in Japan to survive or exchange vital information in real time but with the nuclear power plant going critical with a possibility of meltdown can literary cease all these assistance from tech companies if the power plant goes down.

What the tech companies can do now is to provide what’s urgently needed for Japan such as

  1. Water or water creating devices
  2. Food or ways to make food
  3. Generators or renewable energy devices such as portable solar charger
  4. Battery operated WIFI/MIFI devices that are charged by solar & if possible give free data access
  5. More tents & blankets
  6. A device or application that can receive warnings of coming Earthquake or Tsunami based on their gps location
  7. Let people in Japan leave voice recording online for their love ones to listen when they can access to internet

However, there’s only so much tech companies can do but I don’t like the way some companies tried to spin some PR campaign to show that they are doing something but in actually fact didn’t do much.

Let’s pray for Japan & it’s victims and hope things can recover from this disaster.