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#EQNZ: The Web Mobilizes for New Zealand Earthquake

February 21st, 2011 02:55 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

Today the New Zealand city of Christchurch was rocked by another large earthquake, a magnitude 6.3 quake. It follows months of aftershocks from the first big earthquake to strike Christchurch, a magnitude 7.1 on 4 September last year. A personal note: I live in Wellington, New Zealand, which is about 200 miles from Christchurch. However, I have a number of relatives who live in Christchurch and I’m concerned about their safety.

Reports first came in about the latest quake via Twitter, including some tweets from people I follow who live in Christcurch. Most of the initial tweets and re-tweets came from coverage by local media: the TV, newspaper and radio networks. Soon after, a People Finder service was published by Google and social media sites like Reddit created special web pages to track the lates. I’ve also been tracking my own family’s updates via Facebook.

The hashtag #eqnz has been the mobilizing factor in Twitter, with important local Twitter accounts like @nz_quake (an unofficial account that tracks data from GeoNet) and @NZcivildefence (an official account run by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management).

The website EQNZ.co.nz has a running feed from Twitter and Geonet, as well as photos and a blog. This site has graphs of earthquake data from Geonet.

Google rushed out a Person Finder application, to help people locate relatives. Related is this wiki, for people to share information about missing people.

CrisisCommons is a non-profit website doing a wonderful job rallying resources. It points to, among other things, a crowdsourced map.

The primary news websites in New Zealand are all frantically updating as we speak. Here are the main ones: NZ Herald, Stuff.co.nz (which covers Christchurch and Wellington dailies), TVNZ, 3 News. The latter two are the main television networks and their websites include live streaming coverage. Radio NZ, the national radio service, has a live audio stream.

If you want to track the news and reactions outside of Twitter and the mainstream news websites, Reddit has a special web page up.

Please add more resources that you know of to the comments. At time of publishing, 5.45pm NZ, a state of emergency has just been declared in Christchurch. Our thoughts are with the people of Christchurch.

Tweet stream via EQNZ.co.nz

Source: #EQNZ: The Web Mobilizes for New Zealand Earthquake

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