(Click here to go straight to the latest earthquake news)
As another large aftershock rocked Christchurch this morning, it became apparent that people flocked to online media in order to find out how big the earthquake was and where it actually hit.
Geonet provides information on the most recent quakes but can be slow to update and can also shut down following the bigger quakes as everyone flocks to the website at the same time. The location can appear slightly vague (e.g. ’10kms south west of Christchurch’) but it does also give the longitude and latitude. If you copy and paste this into the search box on Google Maps, you should be able to see the exact point of the earthquake.
Another site is Christchurch Quake Live which shows earthquakes in the last 24 hours on a graphical display. This website also slows the magnitude of the earthquake and the depth to two decimal places. The location is narrowed down to the closest street address so that you can quickly see where the earthquake hit.
Oh and when is an aftershock not an aftershock but an earthquake? Apparently no matter how big they are, tremors in this area are called aftershocks until the overall level of seismic activity has fallen to that of the level before the original earthquake. When that happens, anything new is an earthquake.
Earthquake News on Twitter
For me, the best place to go is Twitter. If you’re following a number of Twitter accounts in Christchurch you will see a large number of updates about the aftershock within milliseconds of it hitting. There’ll be a fair amount of speculation as to the size of the quake and it’s easy for rumours to spread before official word is heard, but there’s no better way to find out how much damage has been caused and how people are reacting to the earthquake.
Even the nation’s core news broadcasters use Twitter as a source of credible information following a large event. Just take a look at these news articles from 3News and NZ Herald and you’ll see a number of references to Twitter users (Myself included. Crap. Wish I’d written ‘off’ instead of ‘of’. I would have thought 3News could have corrected my typo!).
If you’re not on Twitter or not sure how to filter the Twitter updates so you can view all updates about the quake and ignore those about what people ate for lunch and wat jane’s cuz did wiv her ex last night, then simply keep an eye on the following news feed.
Bookmark this page (i.e. add it to your favourites) and come back here when there’s an aftershock and you’ll see the latest Twitter updates. These are also great because they usually feature links to articles and news reports with more information. Click the time underneath each update to view the user that made that update: