“Twitter” “Tweets”, among the best in the world – FAQ

Last update: December 28, 2012 at 6:34 pm by By

Superfast tweets on #Earthquakes – #Tsunamis – #Volcanoes – in-depth #reports

This page has been written to explain how these tweets are working and which one to choose for you.

The tweets we are publishing are tweeted directly from our own database. We follow the reports of 4 agencies at this moment : USGS (USA), EMSC (Europe), GFZ (Germany) and GEONET (New Zealand). The first 3 agencies are reporting about worldwide earthquakes.
Why following and reporting so many agencies ?
Because we want to combine speed and accuracy in our tweets. The ones being very fast are often reporting a very good Magnitude value but often are seriously wrong with their depth estimate.
Important to know about earthquake depths : If you see 10 km, there is a chance of only 10% that the real depth is 10 km. In the remaining 90% cases 10 km means, “we still have to re-calculate”.  These values are generated automatically by computer and only when revised by a seismologist  they get a recalculated value. GFZ is often reporting very quick and has to be trusted for Magnitude and epicenter location but is often wrong with the hypocenter depth.
USGS is in many cases slower, but has a more to be trusted overall value.
We also report the local seismological values if these are present. is nearly the only one in the world doing this. Philippine, Chinese, Indonesian, Iranian etc seismology agencies are getting the attention they merit. We respect them endlessly!
Seismology is a very difficult science and it takes some time to recalculate the many factors involved, therefore the real Magnitude and depth often varies after a couple of hours.
Even after recalculation, the different agencies are reporting very often different values. The average of all of them is probably the most accurate.  To allow you to see for yourself  what the earthquake parameters are, we are publishing the  4 agencies.  Especially during massive earthquakes, comparing the values is advised.
The data we publish in our tweets is ALWAYS PRELIMINARY (read the text above why)

We have basically 4 worldwide twitter accounts.
We ourselves are advising @Quake_Tracker 4 as the best to subscribe to, because of its wide use. If you are near the epicenter of a M4 earthquake, you will certainly feel it and do want to know what happened exactly.
Quake_Tracker reports every earthquake we publish in our database and this on a worldwide scale (can be 100 to 150 earthquake tweets a day)
Quake_Tracker5 the Magnitude 5 or higher worldwide earthquakes  (10 to 20 earthquake tweets a day)
Quake_Tracker6 is for the very strong earthquakes only (5 to 10 earthquake tweets a day)
On top of the earthquake tweets, we will also tweet a selection (not all of them) of the I Have Felt It reader experiences as you can see them often in our site.
And finally a link to the in-depth reports and volcano activity posts we often write.
The complete set of tweets we are publishing are UNIQUE IN THE WORLD.

Another Twitter campaign that we are currently building, is the “area only” twitter feeds. @Quake_TrackerCA for example only covers all M2.5+ earthquakes who are occurring in the California area (State + adjacent areas including the Pacific).  We also created @Quake_TrackerOR (Oregon), @Quake_TrackerWA (Washington), @Quake_TrackerHI (Hawaii), @Quake_TrackerOK (Oklahoma) and @Quake_TrackerTX (Texas). All these accounts are active at the moment you read it.
If you are one of the people interested in subscribing to these feeds, you may want to add a worldwide @Quake_Tracker5 or @Quake_Tracker6 on top of it. It is a superb way of being informed what is going on our planet.
Other area only tweets will follow the coming weeks and months.

Retweets are very welcomed IF the link to our pages with the most updated information is present! Thank you for respecting this.

Some people ask us why some alternative twitter feeds are having hundreds of thousands of followers ?
These accounts are continuously promoted by Twitter in the “who to follow” section left of the main column.
As Twitter has his headquarters in San Francisco  they may also pick us up to promote us when they suffer a serious earthquake, and are finding out that the richest information is in our site. We have nothing against other earthquake accounts (there are dozens doing exactly the same with the same information) but we would be happy if Twitter also gives us a little push in the right direction. If you agree with us, send them a tweet to support us. is a volunteer organisation doing all this work with a nano-scopic amount of money and we cannot be held liable for whatever reason.  We report and transfer data the best we can do of course, but also limited to that.


  1. It would be wonderful if you could expand your products to include an @Quake_TrackerBC – I’ve found it enormously ironic that tsunami calculators & slip-fault predictions seem to (if originated in Canada) stop at the Canada-U.S. border… or (if originated in the U.S.) stop at the U.S.-Canada border.

    In truth, a slip-fault quake (ie. S. Whidbey – likely to be a 7.2) that spans the border of Washington and B.C. may start at either side of the border, and will generate a 9+ metre tsunami in the Georgia Bay/Salish Sea which affects Bellingham, WA and Richmond, BC most likely with equal devastating effect (as well as Tacoma, Seattle, etc.).

    And while the Cascadian plate-boundary adjustment (predicted to be a 9.1-9.3…approximately 30 miles off the west coast of southern Vancouver Island) hasn’t happened since 26 January 1700 and is not triggered (apparently) by release quakes of the North San Andreas fault (which occur about once every 100 years) the reverse is not so true. A Cascadian release has always triggered the North San Andreas – which has been shown to be concurrent.

    So tracking B.C. quakes would seem to be a bit helpful to U.S. residents from California to Washington. The geologic substrate is not terribly interested in the international border.

    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      @CAQuake_Tracker will do that too as we have 3 signals coming in. In case of a major earthquake near BC, the West Coast Tsunami center from the USA will also deliver the tsunami signal for BC. Part of the @Quake_TrackerWA goes into BC and the Pacific in front of BC. To give you an idea, @Quake_TrackerWA has got all the info and Exps from the quake a couple of days felt so good in Vancouver.
      But …. I will do this specially for you. Will extend the area to cover approx. 100 km in either direction of the BC border
      Finished; Twitter account @BCQuake_Tracker. Draw a rectangle around the B.C. borders and you will have the area we cover. So, this is Pacific (big portion), Alaska, Yukon, Alberta, small part of Montana and Washington

  2. dave petersen says:

    I wish that you had the plate boundaries indicated on your maps.

    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      Agree with you but we have to work with the twitter maps here (system which is controlled by twitter) + we have only a budget of 5000$/year to do everything we do. Guess that explains a lot :) )

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