Social Media* Response to Japan Earthquake

A tsunami crashes into Natori, Miyagi in Japan. Photo: Kyodo News, via Associated Press

As we’ve seen with other world events, social media mobilized quickly in response to the devastating 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan, the largest to ever hit the nation according to The Washington Post.

Google has launched a Person Finder app, available in Japanese and English, to help people locate loved ones. Trending Twitter hashtags this morning include #prayforjapan, #japan, #japanquake, and #tsunami. The Hawaii Red Cross is tracking the impact of the tsunami on its shores on its Twitter feed and another trending topic is “Text REDCROSS.” Texting 90999 to the Red Cross will generate a $10 donation. MSNBC has other philanthropic information.

Business Wire has also announced that they are offering complimentary press releases for news related to the earthquake. is has provided online resources for those looking for information. And according to the New York Times’ Lede blog on the State Department has an email address to help American citizens in need of help –

In a statement published on The Lede, President Obama said: “Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the people of Japan, particularly those who have lost loved ones in the earthquake and tsunamis. The United States stands ready to help the Japanese people in this time of great trial.” The statement goes on to say that F.E.M.A. has been instructed to help those on the West Coast and in U.S. territories who may be impacted by the earthquake and tsunamis.

Over on TVNewser, our colleagues have been following the broadcast media coverage of the earthquake, the response, and its aftermath throughout the day. Click here for more.

SXSW has introduced SXSW4Japan to raise $10,000 for relief efforts. CNET reports that a hashtag, #sxswcares, has been created to get people involved as well.

*We’ve been adding important items to this post throughout the day so some pieces of info are now outside of the social media area.

[Image via]