Facebook starts safety check feature for Nepal's earthquake victims - Economic Times

BENGALURU: Social media site Facebook has started a 'Safety Check' feature for users stranded in Nepal or any of the other affected zones, following a massive earthquake near Kathmandu that rocked the subcontinent on Saturday, the site's billionaire chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said.

In a post on Facebook on Sunday, Zuckerberg said the feature is a simple and quick way to reach out to worried family and friends.

"It's a simple way to let family and friends know you're okay," 30-year-old Zuckerberg said.

The way it works, users on Facebook get a notification if they're stuck in one of the areas that was rocked by the earthquake. with a prompt asking about their safety. The Safety Check feature also allows users to check on other friends who might be stranded in the disaster zone.

"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," Zuckerberg said. "When disasters happen, people need to know their loved ones are safe. It's moments like this that being able to connect really matters. My thoughts are with everyone who's been caught up in this tragedy."

The Nepal earthquake is the worst natural disaster to have struck the region since 1934, when a massive earthquake killed nearly 8500 people in the country.

So far, more than 2200 people are feared dead, after the earthquake struck a Kathmandu Valley and unleashed an avalanche on Mount Everest that caught climbers in a death trap. A second large aftershock measuring 6.7 on the Richter's scale struck the region today and triggered further avalanches in the area.

Thanks to the advent of social networking, such as Facebook and Twitter, and modern technology in general, a number of people caught in the impacted zones have been able to reach out to their families and loved ones.

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