Tweets from Tokyo top 1,200 per minute

11 Mar 2011

Reaction to the tsunami sweeping the Pacific in the wake of the 8.9-magnitude earthquake that has hit Japan has sent shockwaves through the Twitterverse.

Tweets from Japan in the wake of the disaster are coming in at a steady 1,200 per minute, according to Tweet-o-Meter.

Tweets in financial centres like London and New York are also peaking at more than 1,000 tweets per minute as the scale of the disaster is being discovered and by fears of tsunami waves hitting Hawaii and other islands in the Pacific.

The hashtag #tsunami is receiving tweets at a rapid pace, as Twitter users around the world attempt to grasp the scale of the disaster which has caused a fire to break out at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Twitter users are mostly sharing photos and videos and expressing their prayers for the Japanese people.

Google reacted speedily to the news of the disaster by making its People Finder service available in Japanese. People Finder allows users to both request and post information about the safety of loved ones missing as a result of natural disasters.

Google has made the service available in Japanese after large tsunamis hit Japan along a 2,100km stretch of its eastern shore, impacting dozens of its cities.

In Ireland, the Department of Foreign Affairs has set up a crisis centre to allow people to find out details on their loved ones in Japan. They are also appealing to Irish people in Japan to contact them to let them know that they’re safe at +353 (0)1 408 2000. For more information, email

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years