Searchlight on Haiti Relief
- Posted February 4th, 2010 at 11:00 am by Yahoo! Search
- Categories: Mobile, News/Announcements, Search
As aid workers in Haiti settle into the anything-but-routine work of helping care for a devastated country, people continue to come to Yahoo! Search to find out how to help victims of the earthquake. Just this week, Haiti-related search spikes turned to “tents for Haiti,” which had 1,000 percent more searches than the previous week. The plight of Haiti’s orphans also continues to be on people’s minds as they search for “Haiti orphan rescue,” which buzzed to over 9,000 percent this week as Haitian orphans were taken in by the U.S. and as a scandal erupted over possible removal of children from Haiti.
Yahoo! Search data also paints an intriguing timeline of the 7.0 earthquake that shook the country on Jan. 12. As news of the quake spread, concerned citizens took to the Yahoo! Search to learn the details and to research how to help.
Right after the news of the quake, people turned to their mobile devices for immediate information. In the first two days after the quake, Yahoo! Mobile searches on “Haiti Earthquake” increased 3,300 percent. Popular search themes centered on photos, relief efforts, Wyclef Jean, and current news almost immediately. Several of the top earthquake queries were in Spanish. As the week went on, people started looking for more contextual information, wanting Haiti maps, asking “where is Haiti”, and looking for information on Haitian poverty and whether the country is cursed.
In Yahoo! Web search, searches focused more clearly on volunteering and donating aid and time. Users were deeply concerned about the plight of Haitian orphans, offered prayers for Haiti, and researched church-based relief organizations. People were also eager to donate their help via text messaging as we saw searches for “texting to help Haiti,” “text Haiti 90999,” and “text Yele.”
Many searches focused on the names mentioned in news reports about Haiti’s earthquake. Searchers looked for former president François “Papa Doc” Duvalier, Port-au-Prince archbishop Joseph Serge Miot, and the head of the U.N. mission in Haiti, Hedi Annabi. Haitian president René Préval also spiked as he appealed for aid.
As the immediate shock subsided, Web searchers expanded their interest, looking for information on the Dominican Republic, Haiti’s neighboring country that that offered a lot of aid to migrating survivors. People also want to know more about other large earthquakes, notably the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes in California’s San Francisco Bay Area. They also looked up details about fault lines, causes of earthquakes and tsunamis, and the Richter scale for measuring the size of tremblers.
After learning of the quake, teams across Yahoo! stepped up to help with the relief efforts in a wide variety of ways. Yahoo! employees in the U.S. have donated more than $145,000 to the cause, including corporate matches for those donations. Yahoo! users have donated more than $1.5 million to support Haiti relief and rebuilding efforts globally. You can see more of our efforts on behalf of earthquake victims at Yodel Anecdotal. For up-to-date news about the Jan. 12 Haiti Earthquake, please visit http://news.yahoo.com/topics/haiti.
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