Feeds

US Geological Survey detects earthquake on Twitter

The Earth moved for Filipino Tweeps before needles moved for boffins

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Twitter has beaten instruments to the punch at the US Geological Survey – but the geeks at the country’s lead earth-sciences agency are perfectly happy.

Launched last year to distribute earthquake information, the USGS has found its Tweet Earthquake Dispatch (TED) to be equally effective at receiving on-the-ground posts about quakes.

The agency has told Bloomberg that it began receiving Tweets from last Friday’s Philippines earthquake around one minute and seven seconds after the event – sooner than its instruments raised alerts, according to seismologist Paul Earle.

The quake resulted in a tsunami alert being issued. Happily that alert was cancelled as waves caused by the quake ended up being a mere 16 centimetres high. The 7.6 magnitude quake struck under the ocean 146 kilometres off Samar Island, resulting in one death and only minor damage.

TED monitors Twitter for “earthquake” posts in various languages, and in its own notices it provides a frequency counter of the number of Tweets originating from an earthquake region in "tweets per minute" – providing a hint at how widespread the effects of a quake may be felt.

The system can provide a “heads-up” that something’s happened before the wave is picked up by a seismograph (particularly if the quake happens somewhere remote from the USGS’s instruments), Earl told Bloomberg. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.