India Turns To Google App To Aid J&K Rescue Effort

9 September 2014
Zee News

New Delhi: In a bid to boost the search and rescue operations in flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is deploying a Google application that had been successfully used during last year's Uttarakhand floods. The 'Person Finder' app is a web application that lets individuals post and search for the status of relatives or friends affected by a disaster. As per NDRF Director General OP Singh, the government was in touch with Google and the application is expected to be in place by Wednesday morning. The app is currently being updated and activated for specific J&K operations. Once live, the search and rescue teams can use the 'Person Finder' to locate people living in an area and deploy men and material to evacuate them from marooned locations. As per sources, Google has briefed the government that its 'open source' content has a lot of data and information on the locations and inhabitants of Jammu and Kashmir, especially in the Kashmir valley. The rescue and disaster mitigation teams, sources said, are facing a number of odds in their task like bad communication network and high water level and this satellite-based application will strengthen their efforts to reach out to more victims of the worst-ever floods tragedy in the state. 'The platform had been very successful during last year's floods and heavy rains that had wreaked havoc in Uttarakhand. Once activated, the web and SMS-based resource will bolster rescue teams of all the agencies like NDRF and IAF immensely,' a senior officer of the security establishment said. Under this smart application offered by the crisis response division of Google, all data entered into it is available to the public and searchable and accessible by anyone. Once initiated, search and rescue teams of the National Disaster Response Force, IAF, Army and other civil aid authorities can use the database to reach more and more people who are stranded for the last few days and need immediate succour.