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Twitter: A Digital Socioscope by Michael W. Macy, Ingmar Weber, Yelena Mejova

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6 Disaster Monitoring

Bella Robinson, Robert Power, and Mark Cameron

1. Introduction

1.1. Motivation

Natural disasters have increased in severity and frequency in recent years. According to Guha-Sapir et al. (2011), in 2010, 385 natural disasters killed over 297,000 people worldwide, impacted 217 million human lives, and cost the global economy an estimated US$123.9 billion. There are numerous examples from around the world: the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami; the more recent 2011 Toˉhoku earthquake and tsunami, which damaged the Fukushima nuclear power station; hurricanes Katrina and Sandy in 2005 and 2012 respectively; the 2010 China floods, which caused widespread devastation; and Victoria’s 2009 “Black Saturday” bushfires in Australia, ...

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