Web sites offer help for reuniting families separated by Haiti earthquake

Friday, January 15, 2010; A09

Since Haiti was devastated by an earthquake Tuesday evening, several new ways to search for missing friends and relatives have popped up online.

The International Committee of the Red Cross added a section for Haiti on its Family Links Web site, http://www.icrc.org/familylinks, which aims to reunite separated family members. The site allows earthquake victims to register themselves, or relatives to list names of the missing.

http://Ushahidi.com, a Web platform that aggregates mobile and online crisis reports geographically, now has a Haiti page that allows witnesses there to upload reports by phone, Twitter or e-mail. The site's Haiti map is tracking emergency situations -- collapsed buildings, trapped people, fires and quake aftershocks -- as well as where to find relief services such as medical tents and shelters.

The Miami Herald's Web site, http://miamiherald.com, launched Haiti Connect, a forum to search for relatives and friends by posting photos and soliciting information from other users.

Another site, http://koneksyon.com, facilitates hundreds of discussion threads and gives advice on how to find and connect with Haitians in the aftermath of the quake.

-- Liz Heron

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