The earthquake in Japan caused many power outages and affected electricity supplies, but the internet remained intact allowing a support system to arise from social media sites. Most importantly, people were able to reunite with their loved ones through the use of social media.
Even the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo encouraged Americans living in Japan to use social networking sites and text messaging to reach out. The message also recommends Google’s Person Finder as well as the Red Cross’s Family Links website as a resource.
One of the most effective and astounding responses to the earthquake in Japan happened on Twitter. With over 1,200 tweets per minute in Tokyo an hour after the earthquake, according to Tweet-o-meter, Twitter made the largest impact in terms of delivering news efficiently around the country and globe.
Facebook also proved as an efficient method of communicating amid the disaster as well as after. The social networking site also offered a unique way to help the situation. By purchasing virtual goods in Zynga games, users can give money through Save the Children or Facebook. This partnership between Zynga, Save the Children, and Facebook allows aid to reach the earthquake and tsunami victims via the American Red Cross and Save the Children.
This is an interesting view of the 4.5 status updates that brought up Japan, the earthquake, or the tsunami last March 11.