Sedalia Tornado: Twitter, the Internet Responds
Perhaps if federal relief could react as quickly as the Twitter and the rest of the Internet… Well, one thing’s for sure, the aftermath of Katrina wouldn’t stand out like a sore thumb. Meanwhile, the Internet has jumped on the tornado phenomenon with great zeal, demonstrating its power as a community when there’s a common cause being supported.
As indicated in the recent Joplin tornado article, 2011 is quickly becoming the property of tornado-causing storm cells as another one recently (as in today) touched down in Sedalia, Missouri. While the details of the tornado’s impact remain unknown, the lead image is a screenshot of a video showing the damage that’s recently occurred.
The reaction from the Internet concerning Sedalia has been so swift, it’s pretty clear everyone has tornado fever. Of course, when you are dealing with storms that look like this:
The more information, the better off your chances of making it through them unscathed. Incidentally, the preceding screenshot was taken as this article was being prepared, meaning Kansas City is now under the threat of joining Joplin and Sedalia. In fact, a response aimed at the KMBC Twitter indicates tornadoes have already touched down in the Kansas City, Kansas proper:
Well im on 115th & metcalf RT @OnMyGrind2k11:Accoriding to KMBC news tonado hit down on 132 and metcalf. Work is on 73 & Metcalf.
Of course, when news about the Sedalia tornado hit the wires, Twitter responded like mad — Sedalia was trending — with wishes of good fortune and safety, as well as any pertinent information to be had:
Sedalia:roof ripped off houose, u can see every single room in this house from chopper 5, ppl inside hugging and grabbing their belongings
Skytracker showing people picking thru roofless homes in #Sedalia, embracing as they absorb damage
They are discussing whether or not to establish a curfew for tonight in the city of Sedalia for the damaged area.
15 ppl admitted to hospital in sedalia w minor injuries
So, to summarize: tornadoes went after my family in central AR, then near my family in SW MO, and today near my extended family in Sedalia.
This is perhaps the most useful way to employ social media, at least from my humble perspective. The ability to instantly get word out to rest of the Internet population is like nothing we’ve had before. Information is power and the faster it gets spread around, forming a complete picture of what happened is easier than ever.
Or maybe, just maybe, the Internet population just loves having something to talk about, and tornadoes are the “hip” topic right now. Nevertheless, it’s awfully clear that tornadoes are big, big business for the media industry, and the way they are pumping any relative information about the Sedalia tornado demonstrates that nicely. For instance, a Kansas City local news program posted multiple screenshots of the aerial view of Sedalia, just to have images of the strike available for their audience, and for those of who are actively searching for it online.