Social Media & Natural Disasters

Chaos struck the Philippines on Monday after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck the central island of Negros, causing fears of a tidal waves and a tsunami. This time, social media once again responded rapidly but unsupportively leading to a panic due to a rumored tweet.

http://mashable.com/2012/02/06/earthquake-strikes-philippines/

Apparently, residents and local media outlets used Facebook and Twitter to alert people and quell tsunami-inspired panic. However, they are not the only one who use social media to to sound a digital alarm when disaster strikes. The U.S. Geological Survey do that too.

http://mashable.com/2012/02/07/social-media-earthquakes/

But is this all that social media can do when leveraging mouth words regarding certain affair? Think about what happened in Japan almost a year ago.

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/japan-earthquake-tsunami-drive-social-media-dialogue/story?id=13117677#.TzL5EVymg-A

YouTube and Twitter spiked with Japan earthquake news. Moreover, people turned to social media to get connection with their families and celebrities and organizations utilized social media to collect funds.

What can we learn from these incidents in terms of using social media by individuals, the public, and government and authority respectively during such catastrophes?

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2 thoughts on “Social Media & Natural Disasters

  1. I would think that social media could potentially be beneficial for the good of the general public. The type of tweets mentioned are great for awareness but it would probably be more useful if local news stations or politicians or people tweeted local conditions, where not to go or evacuation information. That is the grassroots basis of twitter and SM but then again who is going to tweet when they may be running for their lives.

  2. I think social media could definitely be used in a beneficial way during any time of natural disaster or an emergency situation. If you are alerted through social media it definitely helps when other means of communication may be down. I know when the earthquake hit and we didn’t know what was going on in NY I checked my social media feed to see if anyone posted what was going on because when I tried to call people it got disconnected. I definitely think it can be beneifical in many situations and should be utilized.

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