Kyushu region in Japan and South American country of Ecuador were hit by earthquakes in the past week. The earthquake in Ecuador was 7.8 in magnitude and caused a death toll of 246 and injured more than 25000 people. Kyushu was hit by two earthquakes resulting in the deaths of 41 people and injuring many more. The authorities are now trying to find survivors from the earthquake before a storm hits the Kyushu region.
After natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunami, people often face difficulty trying to contact their loved ones. The local communication infrastructure is often compromised and relatives and friends are often unable to contact their loved ones. Microsoft Skype has stepped up to help solve the problem by offering free calls to landlines and mobiles in both countries.
This service will allow people to make free international and domestic calls to Japan and Ecuador. The service will be available for an indefinite time period. Users will be able to check on their loved ones while the communication is down in the region. The calls can be made to both landline and mobile numbers without any charges. However, you will not be able to call special, premium and non-geographical numbers. In their blog post, Skype said, “We hope this helps you reach loved ones, friends, and colleagues affected by recent events,”.
Several US carriers which include T-mobile, Sprint and AT&T are also offering users free calls and text services in the country. “Our hearts and prayers go out to all of those personally affected by the earthquake in Ecuador this morning,” said Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. “During this difficult time, we want to show our support for all Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile customers who may have friends and family in the region by allowing them to connect without worrying about fees.”
Other tech companies are also doing their part to help the people. Facebook has a check-in feature that allows users to update their status as safe or unsafe when hit by a natural calamity. Google helps its users by assisting them with communication and rescue efforts. This is a great initiative by Microsoft for helping people of Ecuador and Japan in these difficult times.