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Japan earthquake & tsunami: Stay informed, find your friends

Patrick Miller and Alex Wawro | March 11, 2011
Whether you're simply looking to stay current on the news about the recent earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan and is currently reverberating across the Pacific Ocean, or you're looking for ways to find information on your affected friends and family, we have a few tips that might help.

FRAMINGHAM, 11 MARCH 2011 - Whether you're simply looking to stay current on the news about the recent earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan and is currently reverberating across the Pacific Ocean, or you're looking for ways to find information on your affected friends and family, we have a few tips that might help.

Tsunami News: Live video feeds

There are enough video feeds out there for you to recreate your own newsroom feel in your home or office--if you know how to find them, that is.

NHK World Live (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) has an international video feed that is currently alternating broadcasts in different languages. Currently, the English-language news is periodically interrupted by recurring tsunami safety alerts (evacuation notices for different prefectures in Japan) in English, Chinese, Korean, and Portuguese, so you're probably best checking in on NHK occasionally while keeping another video feed open at the same time. If this stream is in the middle of the safety alerts, you can check and see if there's a line on the video that says "NEXT NEWSLINE at (time) (UTC)" to see when you should check the NHK next.

Al-Jazeera and the BBC are also offering live online video feeds of their daily coverage, though they're also covering the other events of the day, so you won't get 100% tsunami coverage.

CNN is currently running live video streams from both Japan and California--you can find them from their landing page.

NHK is also making their Japanese-language broadcasts available over iPhone and Android via Ustream. You can also use their YouTube live stream, though that may not work on your smartphone, or check their NHK On Air Twitter account for more incoming streams as they're added. Alternately, you can try NHK's free iOS app for more streaming coverage.

Live blogs and other information

You can still stay up on the news even if you can't watch video. The BBC and Al-Jazeera are both keeping live blogs (and you can follow @BBCWorld on Twitter), and you can check Yahoo! Japan's Weather Alert page (Japanese) for current updates on expected size and timing of tsunami waves by prefecture. Also, EarthGauge has released a quick PDF fact sheet for an easy look at some basic information about the tsunami--including a tip or two about what to do if your area is in a tsunami alert.

As always, Twitter is an excellent resource for finding breaking news and information, and this tragedy is no exception. Besides the news outlet Twitter accounts mentioned above, you can use the trending topics fields to stay abreast of the news. Keep in mind that the really popular topics like #tsunami and #prayforjapan will catch just about anything, so don't forget less popular tags like #japanquake. Also, use your regional trending topics function to look for news and chatter from the areas you're interested in--you can change it with the Change link next to the regional topics list.

 

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