Social media: The eye of the storm
Oct 30, 2012 / 4:38 pm
By Ragnar Haagen
Say what you will about Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites that are believed to be a waste of time. Arguments have been made that characterize them as a drain on the workplace; interfering with people’s careers, family and personal lives – but when disaster strikes, they suddenly become useful, indispensable and sometimes your only source of communication.
That was the case again last night, when Hurricane Sandy descended upon the U.S. East Coast. By the time it arrived on the shores of Atlantic City, NJ around 8 p.m. ET, it was no longer classified a hurricane by the National Hurricane Center (even though it had sustained winds of 120 km/h), instead it had been downgraded to a “post tropical” storm.
But the name didn’t matter, only the devastation left in its wake which was chronicled by the hundreds thousands of people who found themselves in the path.
With current technology, evacuation notices had gone out early for people living in low lying areas. While some chose to leave, others chose to stay and report in their own way.
- Tim Pool was on the ground in Manhattan when the storm hit. He live tweeted (@Timcast) throughout the night and took multiple photos and videos of the storms destruction which he uploaded to his livestream page, check it out here.
Many other videos have turned up on YouTube that show the devastation. Here is a mashup of some of the more graphic scenes:
NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg continues to give updates on the city’s response, here is his Monday briefing:
Along with video, many amateur and professional photographers braved the elements in order to capture, what is being called, the worst storm of the past 60 years.
- Compilation of photos by Stacy Lambe at BuzzFeed
- The Atlantic published these photos, mostly from NYC
- The Washington post also published some amazing before/after photos
- One of the strangest sights occurred during the early stages of storm coverage by a local NBC station in Washington DC (still grab at right).
While the final damage toll will not be known for some time, the latest count has Sandy leaving 39 people dead and over eight million people without power in the U.S. as the storm moves slowly across Pennsylvania. It’s expected to turn north and descend upon the Great Lakes tonight before it hits Toronto and Montreal.
More than 15,000 flights have been cancelled along the eastern seaboard and New York’s three major airports remain closed.
Early estimates have Sandy causing about $20-billion in property damage, making it one of the costliest national disasters in U.S. history.
President Barack Obama has already called a halt to a third day of campaigning leading up to the Nov.6 election, but is expected to visit New Jersey tomorrow to survey the damage.
The New York Stock Exchange has also been shut down since the storm hit, but is expected to reopen for trading tomorrow.
Even as the Internet has become the ground for people to stay informed during tragedies of this magnitude, there are always some people out there who will take advantage of the situation.
Here are some of the best FAKED photos of Hurricane Sandy:
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