Social Media & The Japanese Tsunami!

How Social Media Networks helped Japan in it’s crisis!

On the 11th of March, 2011, Japan has been exposed to one of the greatest disasters in it’s history!
An earthquake ravaging it, and followed by a Tsunami. It was the 7th most powerful earthquake in the recorded history!

The Social Media Reaction!
An earthquake is not a new disaster in Japan. It’s perhaps the rapid social media reaction that was new.
Since the beginning of 2011, Social media has been proving an enormous success in connecting people extensively in times of crisis. Social Media communications have reached their peak across the Arab world with all it’s happenings, and especially Egypt; you can check the report on how social media was of such a great influence in Egypt, the Egyptians and on driving the Egyptian Revolution.

The Internet was the only way out for what seemed to be drowning country!
Social Media  has been widely used for people to act, react and share something or everything  going on the scene, reaching to the Japanese natural disaster, too! People leaned heavily on the social media networks and platforms to find one another in Japan, after means of communications, specially, electricity supplies were cut!

“While the earthquake knocked out electricity supplies and shut down two nuclear power plants, Internet availability remains relatively unaffected, according to a blog post from Internet monitoring company Renesys”.  (Reconnecting Japan: Mashable)

There is a slideshare presentation about what happened in Japan, which is another way of utilizing social media for a cause “Japan’s Earthquake”


Of course, Facebook was another social media resort for the Japanese, as a means

of  clutching at hopes to find their beloved ones. They have used “Facebook stories” to exchange their stories and find one another. “Some shared stories of connecting with loved ones using the platform are on the Facebook stories page”.

“The social network counted 4.5 million status updates from 3.8 million users across the world on March 11 that mentioned “Japan,” “earthquake” or “tsunami.” – mashable. You can check the map of the countries around the world mentioning Japan as a slideshow.

Not only that but also Causes were created on Facebook to help the Japanese people out of their crises, such as Help Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Victims, and Save the Children’s Japan Earthquake Tsunami Children in Emergency Fund.


Online Media coverage of the Japanese tsunami – Twitter Comes Handy!

According to Twit-o-meter , after  the tsunami hit japan knocking down the phone systems,  tweets coming from Tokyo exceeded the 1200 per minute. “In a message sent Friday from the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to U.S. citizens in Japan, the Embassy encouraged Americans “to continue your efforts to be in contact with your loved one(s) using SMS texting and other social media (e.g.,FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, etc.) that your loved one(s) may use.”

The most famous Hashtags that were used on twitter for japan were #Japan #Tsunami and  #prayforjapan
#Japan – 500 tweets generated 1,028,742 impressions, reaching an audience of 928,772 followers within the past 24 hours.
Tsunami – 500 tweets generated 1,443,972 impressions, reaching an audience of 1,098,897 followers within the past 24 hours. According to BrandMentions (a new social media tracker).

Sources: Twitter


Nevine Adel

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