Twitter back online after second Haiti quake

20 Jan 2010

Social-networking site Twitter had the first outage of 2010 this morning, experiencing considerable downtime in what was thought to be due to the high volume of traffic rushing to the service following the second earthquake in Haiti that registered 6.1 on the Richter Scale.

“We are experiencing an outage due to an extremely high number of whales.  Our on-call team is working on a fix,” said the Twitter status blog.

Meanwhile, Twitter was being flooded by news of the quake with humanitarian media officer for Oxfam Louis Belanger saying, “Big aftershock woke us all up early. Everyone was gathering outside,” and adding that the Oxfam team was safe and accounted for.

Many people are using Twitter not only to communicate news from Haiti but also to raise money for devastated areas. One such effort is being carried out by Dubliner and popular Irish Twitter personality John Williams, who has set up a fund-raising page in association with GOAL, where anyone can make a donation.

The power Tweeter, known as @mcawilliams, had originally set a target of €1,000 but has since surpassed this. The aim is to raise money through Twitter and by asking people to donate what they can until he reaches his 50,000th tweet, which will then be used to announce the final amount raised and most likely have a guest tweet from Dublin-based charity GOAL.

By Marie Boran