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(Pocket-lint) - Several people are reported dead after what is being described by the media as terror attacks across Paris.

To give you some peace of mind during this devestating time, Facebook has activated a safety feature that it often employs in order to let its users quickly find and connect with their friends in affected areas.

Paris is in chaos right now, and media outlets are scrambling to figure out what's happening. Dozens are reportedly dead, missing, or being held hostage, and if you have a friend or loved one who lives in the city, you're probably panicking, trying to get ahold of them. Well, while you're busy phoning and texting them, you should check Facebook.

The social network has activated its Safety Check feature. Facebook activates the feature during natural disasters, terror attacks, and like events. It uses geolocation data to locate people who live in or are traveling near the affected area, and then it prompts those people to check in on Facebook. Doing so immediately alerts their loved ones on Facebook that they are safe.

Click here to see if your friends and family from Paris are marked as safe.

Twitter / @DeanPraetoriusfacebook safety check tool helps you find friends near paris terror attacks image 2

Facebook is used by 1.44 billion active users each month, so chances are your friend or family member in Paris will get a prompt from Facebook to check in, thus alleviating your worries. It's a basic tool but one that is invaluable during confusing or horrific times. French President Francois Hollande has declared a state of emergency across France, but the duration of the state of emergency remains unknown.

Facebook has activiated its Safety Check several times in the past year alone, including for the Nepal and Chilean earthquakes in April and September, respectively.

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Writing by Elyse Betters. Originally published on 14 November 2015.