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Web Responds to Japan Quake March 11, 2011

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Journalism, News, Social Media, Web Video.
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by Joanne KY Teoh
The unfolding disaster in Japan – with elements of Hiroshima, Kobe and the Asian Tsunami – is riveting the Web. Within minutes of a 9.0 magnitude quake which unleashed a deadly tsunami, millions of people around the world Twittered the news, shared footage captured in home-made videos and donated to help victims.

In the immediate aftermath, Japan’s mobile phones were largely silenced because of a spike in demand. For many, Facebook and Twitter became the best link to worried family members.

Google launched a Person Finder App for people looking for quake victims, or for those trying to let their loved ones know they’re okay. Google used this tool to help people locate loved ones and aggregate information during the Christchurch earthquake and the Egypt protests.

The Google Online Crisis Center provides information on missing persons and aggregates important resources, maps, news and lists link to warning centers, disaster bulletin boards, and train and blackout information. The Center shows up on top of searches for “Japan earthquake” and similar phrases.

Tokyo Reporter is covering events from there on Twitter.

Thousands of videos are being shared on YouTube
as people used their cameras to capture and share the scenes around them with the world. Early videos show the horrifying scale of the disaster, with unstoppable waves destroying everything in their path:

The main areas affected are the prefectures of Miyagi, Fukushima, Tochigi and Ibaraki.

Aid organizations have rushed to leverage social media to collect funds for victims. The International Red Cross has set up a Website. People in Japan and abroad looking for family members can register on the site or consult the list, while those in Japan can inform family and friends that they are safe and provide their contact details.

Resources to follow the quake on the Web:

NEWS RESOURCES
BBC Liveblog
CNN Video
Associated Press summary
Wikipedia page for Sendai quake
Live streaming translation of Japanese news reports
Google Crisis Response
Google’s Japan People Finder
RTDNA’s “Newsroom Planning for Crisis Coverage” Page
50 Questions to Ask During Crisis Coverage PDF

GENERAL RESOURCES
CrisisWiki.org
U.S. Geological Survey quake updates
Humanitarian Early Warning Service
Japanese Fire and Disaster Management Agency
Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

VIDEOS and PHOTOS
YouTube CitizenTube videos
CNN’s iReport videos
Buzzfeed collection
BoingBoing collection
Montage of TV news clips

SOCIAL MEDIA COVERAGE
Poynter social-media resources
Storyful
Avoo social profile live tweets, news, links, wall, images, videos

TWITTER HASHTAGS
#prayforjapan
#tsunami

Selected Video Reports
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12813630

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