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March 12, 2011

Japan Swamps Internet and Social Media Sites

Here's a infographic look at the science basics of Japan's earthquake and tsunamis.
Source:LiveScience

The massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan has triggered off a social networking frenzy, as Twitter and Facebook are flooded with videos, pictures and messages about the magnitude 8.9 event.
The level of panic was visible on social networking sites Twitter and facebook . The users around the world posted video footage of the disaster from news portals and YouTube, expressing their shock and praying for the victims.

The reaction on Twitter, quickly becoming the go-to service in emergencies, was immediate and intense. Less than an hour after the quake, with the country’s phone system knocked out, the number of tweets coming from Tokyo were topping 1,200 per minute, according to Tweet-o-Meter.
 Illustration from Tweet Ometer , showing how Tweets on Japan Earthquake Explodes

In the U.S., West Coast Twitter users learned of the quake late Thursday night and were quickly sharing reports, prayers and video streams. Many favored the live Al-Jazeera feed; others offered a live feed from a Japanese station on Ustream. Meanwhile, hundreds of tweets criticized CNN’s anchor for laughing on air while reporting the tragedy. [UPDATED: CNN denies that its anchor laughed on air, but admits that a guest described the scene as "like a monster movie."]

Some Twitter users shared the tsunami’s estimated times of arrival on U.S. shores — before an official government tsunami warning went into effect. The wave was expected to hit Hawaii first, at roughly 3 a.m. local time.
Google’s official feed posted a link to the Japanese version of its People Finder, for loved ones who have been separated.

The Anatomy of An Earthquake




The magnitude-8.9 offshore quake struck at 2:46 p.m. local time and was the biggest to hit Japan since record-keeping began in the late 1800s. It ranked as the fifth-largest earthquake in the world since 1900 and was nearly 8,000 times stronger than one that devastated Christchurch, New Zealand, last month, scientists said.

Minutes later, the earthquake unleashed a 23-foot (seven-meter) tsunami along the northeastern coast of Japan near the coastal city of Sendai in Miyagi prefecture. The quake was followed for hours by aftershocks. The U.S. Geological Survey said 124 were detected off Japan’s main island of Honshu, 111 of them of magnitude 5.0 or greater.