Experts turn to 'Twitter' for real-time quake reports | world | Hindustan Times
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Experts turn to 'Twitter' for real-time quake reports

US seismologists have found a new way to 'follow' earthquakes around the world in real-time: Twitter -- the popular micro-blogging service that allows users to send messages in less than 140 characters.

world Updated: Dec 16, 2009 15:33 IST

US seismologists have found a new way to 'follow' earthquakes around the world in real-time: Twitter -- the popular micro-blogging service that allows users to send messages in less than 140 characters.

Scientists at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) have recently noticed that Twitter users in seismically active areas of the world were quick to note and report any temblors and movements of the earth that they felt.

The experts say tapping into their 'tweets' on the website helps them pinpoint where and how brutally earthquakes hit, the science news website 'LiveScience' reported.

"Not only were 'Twitterers' quick to note quakes, there were reports that they were beating the USGS at getting out alerts of earthquake activity," USGS scientist Paul Earle was quoted as saying.

"So after an earthquake they often rapidly report that an earthquake has occurred and describe the experience." Michelle Guy, another scientist at USGS, said Twitter users in areas shaken by earthquakes typically begin tweeting in seconds while it can take as long as 20 minutes for data from sensors to be analyzed.

"The basic difference is speed versus accuracy," Guy said.