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Authors: Pignone, M.*
Nostro, C.*
Amato, A.*
Casarotti, E.*
Piromallo, C.*
Title: The INGVterremoti blog: a new communication tool to improve earthquake information during the Po Plain seismic sequence
Title of journal: Annals of Geophysics
Series/Report no.: 4/54 (2012)
Issue Date: 2012
DOI: 10.4401/ag-6179
Keywords: Education and outreach
Seismic risk reduction
Seismic hazard
Abstract: The INGV sites that deliver information in quasi-realtime are well known. People often connect to the INGV home page (, to the Centro Nazionale Terremoti (National Earthquake Centre) page ( and to the Italian Seismic Instrumental and Parametric (ISIDe) database ( to obtain information about recent earthquakes. Moreover, people look for more specific and detailed information on the historical earthquake catalog (, the seismic hazard web pages (, the INGVterremoti YouTube channel ( ingvterremoti), the web-based macroseismic survey (http:// and others. For all of these sites, some of which are reached by hundreds of thousands, or even millions people in cases of strong earthquakes, people can find a lot of specific information on individual earthquakes, on the seismic history, and so on. However, a place where people could find updates and explanations on the ongoing activity was not available. When the Po Plain seismic sequence started on May 20, 2012, through the enormous number of hits on the website of the INGV, to the many phone calls, emails and tweets, we soon realized that the request for information was huge. There were 0.61 and 0.93 million visits and 12 million and 26 million accesses on May 20 and 29, 2012, respectively. This was not a surprise, of course, because also during the L'Aquila 2009 sequence there was a similar situation. Indeed, in the months after the April 6, 2009, event, also through the installation of the Centro Operativo Emergenza Sismica (Seismic Emergency Operational Centre) in L'Aquila [Moretti et al. 2011], we understood that the request from the public and local authorities for complete and authoritative information was higher than had been previously thought. In particular, in the 2009 emergency, and even more so in the 2012 emergency, as well as classical information on web sites, many people looked for information and updates on social network sites. For this reason, between 2009 and 2011, the INGV started to test different social media, such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and developed an application for the iPhone, to release earthquake information. Social media have proven to be very important for information sharing during crises [Earle et al. 2011, Bruns et al. 2012]. For all of these media, we observed relevant increases in the number of views and downloads corresponding to the important seismic events, when the attention was high [Amato et al. 2012, Nostro et al. 2012]. For this reason, in the days after the May 20, 2012, mainshock, we decided to open a new blog to provide quick updates and in-depth scientific information, such as articles on the ongoing seismic activity. Providing timely information is particularly important when seismic sequences last for several weeks and are characterized by several M >5 events, as was the case of the Po Plain earthquakes. At the same time, we worked to provide fast, but scientifically sound, information, which was constantly updated and distributed throughout the territory, also to counter the bad information, and to fight rumors.
Appears in Collections:05.03.99. General or miscellaneous
Papers Published / Papers in press

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