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Social media facilitates communication in Japan and Hawaii

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PHOENIX - Social media is playing an active role in communicating thesituation in the Pacific.

Japanese citizens and even tourists began tweeting immediatelyafter the ground began shaking. A man who sent tweets under thename WouterKloos gaveconstant updates from Osaka.

"What a horrible day," he wrote. "Thousands are spending thenight in eveacuation shelters."

Pictures came streaming in to the ABC15 Social Media Center showingtremendous damage in Sendai, where the airport was completelyinundated with water, mud and debris.

Thousands were stranded at airports in Tokyo, aboud 230 milesfrom the epicenter of the earthquake. As of 5am, 13,000 passengerswere reported stranded at the Naritaairport, and 10,000 at the Hanedaairport.

An American by the name of Amanda is in Tokyoand tweeted with us saying "I'm in central Tokyo. We felt theearthquake pretty stongly but no major damage. Small aftershocksnow. Trains aren't running.

As the tsunami worked its way across the Pacific Ocean, USmilitary assets were effected.

Also using Twitter, the USNavy gave constant updates on the status of the fleet saying"8:00 p.m. local USS Houston & USS City of Corpus Christimooring lines broke free of pier in Guam. Subs safe & undercontrol of tug boats."

We asked the Navy leaders how they are responding to thedisaster.

"Like everyone in respective areas we're working to prepare andrespond. More as we get it," they wrote.

The Navy's Pacific Fleet has its own Twitteraccount where updates were made as soon as the initialwaved hit Hawaii.

"At Pearl Harbor a half-meter surge was detected. Initialreports show no damage to ships and piers," they wrote.

We communicated in real time with DavidCantrell, who was tweeting from his condo in Waikiki,Hawaii.

"HFD is still flying their helicopter along the shore to shoopeople away who wander back to the beach," he posted.

The website Ustreamgathered videos from across Japan. Videos inside the subway andfrom news crews showed confusion and devastation.

If you have loved ones in Japan, Google has launched an app thatallows you to search and leave messages for them. Before using it,you should be cautioned that information on the site changesconstantly and may not be officially confirmed.

Stay with ABC 15 News for the latest on the situation in thePacific. 

Copyright Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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