Twitter alerts USGS to Philippines quake

The USGS said that Twitter actually broke the news of the magnitude 7.6 earthquake in the Philippines before the geological survey did.

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  1. The tweets above may not look like unusual, but they're actually at the forefront of how earthquakes are monitored and how alerts are sent out when an earthquake occurs.

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said that Twitter actually alerted the service to the magnitude 7.6 earthquake in the Philippines today.

    The USGS has a Tweet Earthquake Dispatch service that monitors tweets in several languages, looking for the word earthquake, and then it includes those figures in the alert tweets that the agency sends out. In the second tweet above, the service measured 352 #quake tweets/minute in area.
  2. “In some cases, it gives us a heads up that it happened before it can be detected by a seismic wave,” Paul Earle, a USGS seismologist told Bloomberg.  Earle also said that Twitter monitoring works best in remote places where the USGS doesn't have as many instruments to measure seismic activity.

  3. Earle did admit sometimes the service can be fooled, if people are posting about songs with "Earthquake" in the title.

    Below are some of the Tweets and pictures we found of people who experienced the earthquake in the Philippines.
  4. Na rattle napud ang mga tao sa it (earthquake more fun in the philippines)
  5. Cebu IT Park Panic Evacuation Part II, #earthquake #evacuation
  6. at IT Park after the crazy earthquake...had to use the stairs from 9th floor all the way to the open space...traffic was crazy! #earthquake #cebu
  7. head count per team per accnt per center outside the building...hassle!! #earthquake #cebu #safe
  8. Commotion outside gerrys grill. We were having dinner when the earthquare hit. Everyone was on the street and we heard sidewalk cement cracking.