Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tsunami risk reduction in the age of Twitter

Date:
April 12, 2012
Source:
International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
Summary:
In theory, national governments should issue tsunami watches and warnings. For sure, they should be the only ones issuing evacuation orders. But social media are much quicker to inform.

In theory, national governments should issue tsunami watches and warnings. For sure, they should be the only ones issuing evacuation orders. But social media are upending government control.

Related Articles


Sri Lanka is not located in an earthquake zone. So when those of us who felt the tremors, our first reaction was to doubt our senses. People texted each other to verify. In my case, I learned that the tremor I felt was caused by an earthquake from a tweet within 10-15 minutes of the event. My first reaction was to check the magnitude and depth of the quake from the best scientific source I knew: the United States Geological Service. My first tweet, based on confirming the event at the USGS site, was at 1429 local time (20 minutes after the earthquake)

I sent several tweets, sticking pretty closely to USGS data. Unlike in 2004, the phones were working (within networks, though performance was patchy in locations, especially near the coast line) and Internet was not slowed down noticeably. Calls from one network to another were subject to congestion delays, suggesting that the interconnection links had been inadequately dimensioned.

Tweets kept flying. I and several others active in social media kept emphasizing that only a "watch" existed, that people should be alert and not do anything for now.

I even stuck my neck out and said that given the depth, it was unlikely that a tsunami would be generated. Even though the 2012 earthquake occurred in deep ocean much further away from Aceh than in 2004, I felt that the key would be reports from Aceh and kept checking for reports. None could be found. Only official news of a moderate tsunami came from Pacific Tsunami Warning Center's Bulletin #3 (at 1014Z, more than 90 mts after the earthquake).

Government response

People were checking government sources. One tweeted that the Department of Meteorology website was silent on the subject. I checked within an hour of the quake: it had been last updated 19 October 2010. The screen shot below was taken even later at 1605 local time (1035 Z). The official warning and evacuation order came at 1630 (1100 Z). That was AFTER the model's predicted arrival times for southern and eastern Sri Lanka.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

International Development Research Centre (IDRC). "Tsunami risk reduction in the age of Twitter." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120412105107.htm>.
International Development Research Centre (IDRC). (2012, April 12). Tsunami risk reduction in the age of Twitter. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120412105107.htm
International Development Research Centre (IDRC). "Tsunami risk reduction in the age of Twitter." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120412105107.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

Newsy (Mar. 29, 2015) A 508-million-year-old arthropod that swam in the Cambrian seas is thought to share a common ancestor with spiders and scorpions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Vietnam Rice Boom Piles Pressure on Farmers and the Environment

Vietnam Rice Boom Piles Pressure on Farmers and the Environment

AFP (Mar. 29, 2015) Vietnam&apos;s drive to become the world&apos;s leading rice exporter is pushing farmers in the fertile Mekong Delta to the brink, say experts, with mounting costs to the environment. Duration: 02:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: New Eruptions at Colima Volcano in Mexico

Raw: New Eruptions at Colima Volcano in Mexico

AP (Mar. 28, 2015) The Colima Volcano in western Mexico sent large columns of ash up into the air on Saturday. (March 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Antarctic Ice Is Melting Faster Than Ever

Antarctic Ice Is Melting Faster Than Ever

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) A new study of nearly two decades of satellite data shows Antarctic ice shelves are losing more mass faster every year. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins