Twitter Pushes Prayer, Donation Requests for Japan Quake Victims

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Jennifer LeClaire


News of the 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan — an event that triggered a 32-foot tsunami and has killed several hundred people so far — is dominating media headlines around the world even as the ripple effects are not yet fully understood.

Much like other natural disasters, social media is at the heart of the coverage. From prayer requests to on-site reports to cries for help to requests for donations, social media is delivering the messages of tsunami victims. Citizens of Japan, California, Oregon, Hawaii and beyond tapped into the power of social media to share information.

The disaster is drawing plenty of tweets from celebrities. Comedian and actor Robin Williams tweets, “Dear Earthquakes, Floods, Tsunami & Hurricanes… It isn’t 2012 yet, check your calendar first. Sincerely Humans.” Former wrestler-turned-actor “The Rock” tweets, “Our prayers, love and support for JAPAN and it’s families during this tragic time…STAY STRONG…USA..”

There are also plenty of shouts out for donations to the Red Cross. UberSoc tweets, “Our thoughts are with those in Japan. If you would like to help you can txt REDCROSS to 90999 to make a donation to @RedCross.” And markhoppus tweets, “Horrible what’s happening in Japan. You can text REDCROSS to 90999 to send $10 to relief efforts. Thoughts and prayers.”

Then there’s the news updates. The Scientific American posted, “Tokyo Electric Power Co says pressure inside a reactor at its Fukushima-Daiichinuclear plant is rising, w/risk of leak” with a link to its story. And citizen reporters are getting in on the coverage, posting photos. Even President Barack Obama took to Twitter to express his thoughts on the disaster: “Sending condolences to the people of Japan, particularly those who lost loved ones in the earthquake & tsunamis. U.S. stands ready to help.”

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