I quake therefore I tweet: how citizens can help to measure natural disasters
A street in Amatrice after the August 2016 earthquake (Italy, July 2017).
© BRGM – Daniel Monfort
Quickly grasping the extent of a natural disaster is not easy because of the sporadic nature of incoming information. Yet an early diagnosis is essential as a basis on which to organise disaster management - starting with emergency relief and following on with assistance to victims.
In the last ten years, disasters have been triggering a rapid and massive influx of messages on social networks - and especially on Twitter, where the principle of short messages makes it easier for witnesses to send “live” reports.
A digital platform (SURICATE-Nat) has been testing algorithms to “mine” this tremendous source of information.