Thousands swamp internet in Japan

2011-03-12 21:01
Tokyo - Thousands of people in tech-savvy Japan swamped the internet in the hours after a devastating earthquake and tsunami to tell loved ones they were safe, but social networking sites were also flooded with worries about an explosion at a nuclear plant.

At least 1 300 people were killed, media said, and thousands of homes flattened as a huge deluge of seawater swept inland in the north of Japan, engulfing roads, farmland and villages.

When news spread on Saturday of a radiation leak at a nuclear power plant run by Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) , after an explosion at the facility, many messages on social networking sites were panic-stricken.

"Came back home at 08:00 in the morning after the depressing night...Now, the nuclear power plant has exploded and we might already be exposed to radioactivity," said a 23-year-old female office worker from Tokyo on a Facebook page.

"I just don't know what to do, what's coming next, and will I be alive tomorrow?" she asked.

'Thank God for Facebook'

Elsewhere in the world, from the foothills of northern India to crowded cities in the United States, Japanese on vacation used Twitter, Facebook and the Japanese service mixi to get in touch with family after the disaster knocked out phone lines.

"Can't get through via fone.. but Toru got through Facebook. Thank God for Facebook!" read a status message of a Tokyo resident.

"Yep! It brings down dictators, it reunites loved ones," was one of the comments. Others were not so lucky.

"I still cannot contact with my family and friends after the tsunami," posted a female student from Sophia University in Tokyo. "Information is necessary for me."

Many had reservations about the ability of authorities to deal with the disaster.

"I can't trust TEPCO," said a person with the handlename Tanuki Atsushi on mixi, the Japanese social networking site.

"They should not stop working to limit damage to the public even if this is not going to be a big accident like Chernobyl," said another user named papa.

Nervous reaction

The nervous reaction online was a response to the firm's chequered past. In 2002, the president of the country's largest power utility was forced to resign along with four other senior executives, taking responsibility for suspected falsification of nuclear plant safety records.

The company was suspected of 29 cases involving falsified repair records at nuclear reactors. It had to stop operations at five reactors, including two damaged in the latest tremor, for safety inspections.

Some vented their anger over the disaster on the government of unpopular Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

"I don't think the shaky DPJ deserve to be called politicians," said one Twitter user referring to the ruling Democratic Party of Japan. "Do you think I will ever support them? No never."
Read more on:    facebook  |  japan  |  internet  |  japan earthquake
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Montague Gardens 18:07 PM
Road name: Montague Drive

ROADWORKS - lane closures both directions for BRT lane construction - expect delays

Kuils River 18:05 PM
Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound

ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - expect delays

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Social media is pulling you in and you have the desire to find out everything you know about your friends and you have the urge to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.