Facebook activates safety check tool in Nepal

April 27, 2015
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Facebook has enabled its disaster tool that helps people check on their loved ones in Nepal after the devastating earthquake.

The earthquake has so far claimed over 2,300 lives with many more fleeing the capital city Kathmandu in fear of collapsing buildings. AFP reports electricity has been cut off and communication systems are congested.

“Hospitals are crowded and running out of room for storing dead bodies,” Oxfam Executive Helen Szoke told AFP.

Facebook launched Safety Check after its engineers in Japan worked on the Disaster Message Board during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

“These events have taught us a lot about how people use Facebook during disasters and we were personally inspired to continue work on the Disaster Message Board to incorporate what we’ve learned,” said Naomi Gleit, VP of Product Management.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, while announcing the activation of Safety Check in Nepal, said the tool helps people connect during times of disasters.

“If you’re in one of the areas affected by the earthquake, you’ll get a notification asking if you’re safe, and whether you want to check on any of your friends,” said Zuckerberg.

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