Google has launched a Person Finder tool - to help people affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The simple tool allows you to search for someone, or leave personal details so you can be found - and could prove to be an incredibly useful tool as the rescue efforts continue. Especially when the mobile networks become available again.

The Sendai earthquake and subsequent tsunami occurred on 11 March at 05:46 UTC. It was an 8.9-magnitude earthquake that created tsunami waves of up to 10 metres that have since caused havoc along the Japanese east coast.

News reports by Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) indicate that at least 200 people have died and another 398 are missing.

Google is proving to be the tech company to turn to in a time of crisis - it also recently helped out Egyptian tweeters during the uprising that saw president Hosni Mubarak step down.

Google Person Finder is live now, in Japanese and English at