Media and Press : How to use our information and why partnering with us


This page has been written for the media / press, and is based on our day to day experiences.
Some earthquake reports we see (mostly from areas in the world with no or very few earthquakes) are OR  inaccurate OR far too simple. These journalists are mostly not understanding how earthquakes work and how to read the seismological data after an earthquake has been reported.

A little while ago, the News anchor of a TV News Show in a non-earthquake country in Europe (News Show watched by more than a million people), reported that a Magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck at 25 km (15 miles) from the Japanese coast. There were no reports of damage or injuries he said. Quiet surprising, not ?
He made only a small error in distance, the quake's epicenter was not at 25 km (15 miles) from the coast, but at more than 160 km (100 miles) from the coast. If the distance in his report would have been correct, the damage would have been considerable and people would have been injured or even killed.

Image courtesy USGS

- A big mistake a lot of  journalists are making, is putting too much emphasis on Magnitudes. We see sometimes huge bold titles of M+6 earthquakes who occur at a depth of  several hundred km. These earthquakes are barely felt by the people and do not merit these huge titles. Not understanding the relation in between Magnitude and depth is a major factor of understated or overstated reports.

- Not understanding the basics of the different types of earthquakes is another issue. Subduction earthquakes at the western coast of South America are (mostly) something totally different than a Transform type earthquake in Turkey, Iran or China.

- A good understanding of the different Shaking Intensity scales in the world (or at least the most important) is also an important facet.

Most newspaper reports are just copy/pasting AP / AFP / Reuters or other agencies reports. Thats just fine of course, these are mostly accurate. The press agencies are knowing what they do, are writing a few lines of an interview with a seismologist but go rarely into the details. If the local agency journalist has felt the earthquake, their first hand reports are just great. Unfortunately, most dangerous earthquakes are occurring in remote areas in the world or in areas the western world sees as remote. Often these remote locations have nearby cities of hundred thousands of people or even millions like in China. wants to be your partner for earthquake news.

Consider us as an "added value" on top of your normal information coming from USGS, EMSC, GEOFON, or your local seismological agency.

Why should you consider picking up information from ?

a) Free - rare to find such CC (Creative Commons) information for free on the internet.
Donations from individual persons from all over the world are filling up the nano-budget to accomplish our tasks (an advertising partner would help us a lot - request for our ridiculous cheap rates).

b) No other site in the world has so many "structured" I Have Felt It reports than The way they are describing what they felt is "dominant" for what the outcome of the earthquake will be. We give you the permission to use our "I Have Felt It" reports as long as you stipulate that they are from "" (see below).

c) We follow earthquakes and tsunamis all over the world. A very strong earthquake in Kamchatka, Sulawesi or Azerbaijan will get  the same approach than one in Los Angeles, Istanbul or Tokyo.

d) Our EQA (Early Quake Alert) is often alerting us only 1 or 2 minutes after a quake happens, that is extremely fast in earthquake messaging. You may find earthquake information in our site before anybody else has been writing about it. Ask our readers, they know it since a long time.

e) The layer adds to the scientific information of the official agencies is merely the Human Impact of an earthquake. On top of what we are receiving from our readers we will scan official and other reports for eventual damage and/or injuries.

f)  James Daniell's CATDAT earthquake damage database gives us information about the impact of similar earthquakes in a certain radius around the epicenter, including the damage and the number of injured or killed. This information has a huge importance for earthquakes in  remote areas where communication with the people around the epicenter can take more than a day to reach the outside world. James has Australian roots, lives in Germany and is a geophysicist specialised in earthquake hazards.

g) Our twitter accounts are not only lightning fast, they are also publishing a selection of  our "I Have Felt It" reports, titles of in-depths reports and even the GEO location of the epicenter. As we are reporting the earthquake data from 3 different seismological sources, you are able to make your average yourself.
Seismology is NOT an exact science and incoming data has to be carefully recalculated by seismologists, which contrasts with your relentless request to get more precise data soon after the earthquake happened. We are offering an in between report.

h) on top of it you get Rodger Wilson's daily volcanic overview

Partner with us and use our information in your reports.
Your readers do want the best information possible and we provide it for you.
Mentioning where this information comes from will also empower us.

You do not have to request us to use our information, just use it and mark "according to specialised website".

Early commenting after an earthquake is often speculating based on the data we can acquire ourselves. We will do our utmost best to be as accurate as possible but we are not 100% perfect neither, but the 2 years that we are reporting in this field did help us to override some beginners illnesses.

The volunteer team


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