Japan Tests Twitter As An Emergency Notification Service

September 21, 2012
Japan found Twitter plus other social media sites highly useful as a means of communicating with agencies around the globe during the big tsunami and earthquake in 2011. Online users relying on Twitter and Mixi, a local website, grew significantly because of the huge need for information and updates related to the catastrophies and how the victims were coping with the events. People from all over the world continued to keep in touch and received updates regularly to know more about the subsequent happenings. Today, Twitter and other mobile devices remain very efficient and useful when it comes to getting news. Thousands of Japanese citizens are trying to determine the full capacity of Twitter and other social media sites in providing quick information and formulating emergency support plans during times of catastrophe. Twitter, Mixi and Yahoo Japan pooled in to know more about the options and advantages that may be acquired with the use of mobile applications and devices.

Social Media In Disaster Drills

About 100 volunteers from the Rappongi district in Tokyo were chosen to go through a drill that resembled a real earthquake. The Japan Times cited that the communications system used in actual settings were very helpful in updating online users and providing a clear distinction between factual and incorrect data. During the drill, the volunteers acquired the first report about the earthquake using a smartphone application. The application was specifically made to disseminate emergency alerts via Yahoo. The volunteers then proceeded to a shelter prepared by Mori to guarantee safety. Twitter was responsible for providing quick updates and giving information on the ideal evacuation routes. The locations or victims were also indicated on the micro-blogging site. The collaborative efforts of the three companies showed that people in Japan can actually stay safe and get prior information that can save thousands of lives. Twitter is one of the most popular social media sites today where people can consume and share information regarding earthquakes and other similar natural disasters. The Japanese are avid Twitter user, thus leading to a special quake bot called @earthquake_jp. It almost has one million followers to date.

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