Sorry, but Phivolcs is not on TwitterBy DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
For netizens who wanted quick information about Friday’s earthquake, it was a night of frustration of seismic proportions.
After a 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck off the country’s eastern coast on Friday night, netizens hit the keys to access the website of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) for confirmation of the frenzy on the network news.
But if the Pacific-wide tsunami warning that the temblor had spurred had been right, they would have been swept away without seeing even a flicker from the Phivolcs website.
The Phivolcs page wouldn’t load.
People tried to look for Phivolcs on Twitter, and failed to find it.
CNN World Weather anchor Mari Ramos was one of those who had been looking and ended up tweeting in frustration: “Is PHIVOLCS on twitter? I can’t get into their webpage… #PHTrenchQuake #Philippines.”
Sorry, but Phivolcs has no Twitter account.
Asked for an explanation, Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum said a lot of Internet users tried to access the agency’s website after the powerful quake struck, but its bandwidth could not accommodate the huge traffic.
“The truth is we have a large bandwidth, much larger than the regular bandwidth, but that bandwidth is shared with our own people,” Solidum told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Worse, Solidum said Phivolcs IT officers detected a “flooding attack” from unknown sources that blocked people from reaching the site and caused error messages to pop up instead.
“We still don’t know where the flooding attack came from but right now, we will try to increase our capacity and put up mirror sites, so people can be diverted to the mirror sites without affecting our operations,” Solidum said.
As for a Phivolcs Twitter account, he said the agency did not have enough staff members to provide updates on social media.
“What we do is we give the updates to the concerned agencies, which then post the updates on Twitter,” he said.
Solidum said the Phivolcs was more focused on the real-time flow of information to the concerned agencies, including the Office of Civil Defense, which would issue advisories and warnings to residents of areas an earthquake had struck.
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