The INGVterremoti blog: a new communication tool to improve earthquake information during the Po Plain seismic sequence

Maurizio Pignone, Concetta Nostro, Alessandro Amato, Emanuele Casarotti, Claudia Piromallo

Abstract


During a seismic sequence, it is extremely important that the population shaken by the earthquakes has continuous and timely information about the ongoing seismic activity. For this reason, a few days after the beginning of the Po Plain sequence, we opened a new informative channel, namely a blog (http://ingvterremoti.wordpress.com), through which we released tens of updates and in-depth scientific explanations on the earthquake sequence, as well as the classical information provided on the INGV web sites. Through the collaboration of Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) researchers and technicians, we published more than 80 posts about the sequence, to describe ongoing activities during the emergency, and the first scientific results obtained from preliminary data processing. The response of the public was immediately encouraging, and reached its maximum on June 3, 2012, when a Ml 5.1 earthquake was strongly felt in the region previously shaken by the May 20, 2012, Ml 5.9 and the May 29, 2012, Ml 5.8 events. We recorded more than 850,000 views on that particular day, and had more than six million contacts (6,403,843) in the first two months (May 29 to July 29), mostly concentrated in the first 15 days. Even if the number of contacts is surely the main indicator of the effectiveness of a blog, it is important to carry out an in-depth analysis of the audience, to have useful material to further improve this blog. A broader research project could also include cross-media comparisons, taking into account the whole set of social media used by the INGV (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Apple). Future developments include the creation of new categories and new articles for other regions of Italy, and in-depth scientific articles to explain the results of the research activities. We also plan to find a way to implement the interactions with the public, for answering questions and making comments. The INGVterremoti blog is an original tool to provide information to people, not only during a seismic sequence, but also 'in times of peace', thus contributing to the work of prevention that remains the best defense against earthquakes.


Keywords


Seismology; Educational; Public issues; Earthquakes; Seismic awareness; Seismic hazard

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References


DOI: https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-6179
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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X