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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Twitter vital post-quake

Twitter vital post-quake

Last updated 11:52 08/04/2011
Government staff sent over 5000 messages through social media website Twitter to share vital information with Christchurch residents following the February 22 earthquake.

Knowledge Information, Research and Technology (KIRT) and other government staff around the country worked around the clock to direct Christchurch locals to information and services and in some cases to correct misinformation.

The social networking tool also allowed residents to ask questions about electricity, road closures, sanitation and the availability of support.

"Many affected people did not have access to desktop computers either at home or at work, but mobile data services remained available for many residents," KIRT deputy chief executive Stephen Crombie said.

Crombie said Twitter was a useful addition to the traditional channels of television and radio for communicating with New Zealanders.

"We are continuing to review how social media tools can be used in a way that will complement these traditional channels," he said.

Although the focus in Christchurch has moved from response to recovery, government staff will continue to share earthquake updates through Twitter, Crombie said.

Follow the updates on Twitter:

Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (@NZcivildefence)

The Department of Internal Affairs (@CEQGovtNZ)

Christchurch City Council (@ChristchurchCC).

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