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How Facebook is helping Nepali quake victims
A new feature lets those who still have cellphone coverage or Wi-Fi access say "I'm safe." - photo by Chandra Johnson
A Facebook safety tracking feature launched last fall is earning the social media site some praise in the wake of the Nepal earthquake that killed thousands this past weekend.

Called Safety Check, the feature allows users with Internet access to check in via the application to tell loved ones whether they're safe or not when disasters strike. At the time the feature was launched, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook was addressing a need in light of the earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan in 2011.

Over the weekend, many Facebook users were relieved to get notifications that friends and family in the Mount Everest region were safe as the death toll surpassed 3,000.

One user with family in nearby India called the feature "brilliant" in a tweet.

Even though six out of every seven Nepalis do not use social media and the alerts only work for users who have connectivity, people caught in the devastation and outside of it were both voicing support for the feature via social media.

"Just knowing your loved ones are safe is just like a beam of light in the dark," wrote Facebook user Dinesh Gurung commented on Zuckerberg's page.
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