Earthquakes and the Power of the Internet

January 7th, 2010

It’s amazing how quickly information moves on the internet. I was working on my Natural Hazards course today when Twitter exploded with news of a magnitude 4.1 earthquake in northern California.

USGS shake map for Jan 7 4.1 magnitude Bay Area earthquake

USGS shake map for Jan 7 4.1 magnitude Bay Area earthquake

Within minutes, the USGS posted details on a website, complete with maps and list of people who reported that they felt it. Incredibly, in just less than an hour after the event, a total of 13,372 people reported this earthquake to the Did You Feel It? website. The number of people who felt it continues to grow.

Given all of the information sources on the web (blogs, organization web pages, Twitter, etc.), it will certainly be a challenge for my Natural Hazards students to keep up with and critically analyze information about current hazard-related events.

One Response to “Earthquakes and the Power of the Internet”

  1. Halle Morrisonon 15 Jan 2010 at 2:33 am

    Hey there, I’m Woo c/o ’99 (geology). Can you give me some ideas on what activities you guys do for your natural hazards class? I’d like to incorporate some new activities into my Env. Geo. class I teach here in Chicago. Write me at

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