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Mar. 13: Connecting online to Japan's earthquake

Ann Curry reports from Japan for a special Dateline Sunday on March 13th, at 7pm/6c, about the latest update on the earthquake and how social media has sped up global recovery efforts. 

Reposted from MSNBC's Technoblog by Suzanne Cheney:

These sites can help you find more real-time information about the Japanese earthquake, people you might be looking for and other related information:

• NTT DoCoMo is Japan's largest mobile phone operator. At this NTT DoCoMo site, you can enter the cell phone number of the person whose safety you're trying to confirm. 

If you're trying to call, Nikkei.com notes that NTT DoCoMo has "imposed restrictions on up to 80 percentof voice calls, primarily to northeastern Japan and the greater Tokyo area. Cellular phone customers, however, are having difficulties placing voice calls to most areas nationwide." However, "Access to data communications, including its i-mode cell phone Internet service, has not been affected," according to the operator.

Facebook has set up a Japan Earthquake page for information about disaster relief. Also, Asahi Shimbun, Japan's biggest newspaper, has a Facebook page that is worth checking, as is the newspaper's English-version website.

• On Twitter, the short messaging blog, use these hashtags, or identifiers, to learn more: #japan,  #prayforjapan and #tsunami.

• The U.S. Department of State has a Japan Earthquake & Pacific Tsunami Web page with contact phone numbers. "For concerns about a specific U.S. citizen in Japan," the department recommends e-mailing to: JapanEmergencyUSC@state.gov, and for information about a "specific U.S. citizen in the Tsunami zone outside of Japan," e-mail to: PacificTsunamiUSC@state.gov.

Here is the state department's page on Twitter and on Facebook

Google Crisis and Response page: As Rosa Golijan writes, this Web page "provides links to disaster resources, related news reports, and the Google Person Finder tool." On Friday, Google also added links to flight information for these airlines: American, ANA, Delta, JAL and United.

• The American Red Cross also has a tool called "Safe and Well" on its website." Those in Japan can use the site to let loved ones know whether they're all right, and friends and family can also search the site for names of those they're looking for by clicking on the "search registrants" button.

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Watch Kate Snow's report for Nightly News on the diligence of Japan's disaster preparation:

The island nation is hailed for having some of the best disaster preparedness in the world, and as NBC's Kate Snow reports, all that effort likely saved thousands of lives.