December 31, 2004
A Web site created earlier this week by the International Red Cross to help relatives locate survivors of the Indian Ocean tsunami crashed Thursday under heavy loads, but is now back up and running.
The site, which the Red Cross set up Wednesday, lets people in the affected countries -- Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and several others -- register to let family elsewhere know they're safe and sound. Families can then search the list.
Although the site is far from official -- the Red Cross disavowed all claims to accuracy -- it was brought down by heavy traffic Thursday, a spokesman told the Reuters news agency.
"We have had a tremendous response...the system is partially down," the spokesman said to Reuters Thursday. The site rang up over 650,000 hits before becoming too sluggish to use, but by early morning Friday (Pacific time), the site was back up and operating normally.
The site has been especially important to European and American families, since thousands from those areas remain missing, including approximately 5,000 Europeans and an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 Americans.
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