Twitter faster than earthquakes

Twitter commercial claims what most Tokyoites already know

Twitter faster than earthquakes

Twitter, faster than earthquakes

Following the 5.9 magnitude earthquake in Virginia last week, Twitter has released a video claiming to be faster than the quake itself. You may find it a little insensitive, but in some ways it's something we already knew here in Japan.

As our coverage of the March 11 earthquake showed, Twitter was the first medium most people turned to as the quake struck. I remember standing in a shaking car park with my Japanese colleagues during the first major aftershock, staring at my iPhone scream and shouting out to them that reports were arriving of a tsunami in Tohoku. Nobody fully believed it until video footage came in via NHK's website an hour or so later.

Of course, Japanese mobile phone technology is already some way ahead of Twitter, with apps like Yurekuru providing hit-and-miss info seconds before quakes hit. In our experience, most alerts have the effect of making people pause and wait to see what happens rather than dive under a table or seek out a solid door frame, but next time, we might take a leaf out of this guy's book. It'd certainly save us the time we spent mopping up coffee on the afternoon of March 11.

Twitter earthquake video

By Jon Wilks
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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