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Twitter Earthquake Detection is a Better Warning System Versus Traditional Sensors

Twitter Earthquake Detection

Earthquakes are scary. I was home and all alone when a 7.4 magnitude quake hit recently, so needless to say, I was a little freaked out. I tried calling my sisters and my mom, but it appeared that the phone lines were temporarily down. So instead, I went online and sure enough, a handful of my friends had already tweeted about the earthquake.

It’s probably similar situations like this that prompted seismologists to say that Twitter does a better job at ‘detecting’ earthquakes and tremors all around the world versus their own advanced equipment. This is because the tweets are posted in real-time to report the quakes as they happen, while their machines would probably still be working to pinpoint where and when the quakes had taken place.

It is for this reason that the US Geological Survey is using Twitter as an early-warning system so they can quickly gather and put together reports of earthquakes as they happen.

Paul Caruso, from the US Geological Survery, explained: “We do have sensors and it usually takes about five minutes before the sensors will see the earthquake. With this earthquake it was the case that Ted warnings that people were tweeting that they felt an earthquake actually came in before our seismometers actually registered it.”

Now this is definitely one use for Twitter that has the potential to save a whole lot of lives.

VIA [ Sky News ]