Within minutes of news coming in from South America, social media networks were buzzing with reports out of Chile. Former American Idol contestant Elliot Yamin is currently in Chile and is tweeting “Complete and utter choas on the streets...no power...my heart is beatin outta my chest!....tsunami warnin...I am only a mile inland!". Facebook support groups have already been formed and 'Chile' is the top trending topic on Twitter.
Elliott Yamen Tweet
What use to be a destination site, ChileTweet.com has turned into a source for updates from the region in real-time. As evident from this screen shot, Secretary of State Clinton has already commited to visiting Chile on March 2.
The magnitude-8.8 earthquake struck south-central Chile early on Saturday morning local time, killing at least 78 people, knocking down buildings and triggering a tsunami, expected to spread across much of the Pacific.
UPDATE: At 2:06PM ET, President-elect Sebastian Pinera said more than 147 people died in the
strongest earthquake to hit the country in 50 years.
UPDATE: At 11:00PM ET, Wall Street Journal had the death toll up to 300 people.
UPDATE: February 28- According to the Times Online, the death toll rose to more than 700 as
rescue workers battled to find survivors trapped in the wreckage and
powerful aftershocks battered the country
A good number of YouTube videos have already been posted, as buildings have been reduced to rubble - and phone lines have been brought down. Seismologists says the tremor have caused a tsunami - with three-metre-high waves heading towards Chile's coast. The most devastating earthquake in the country's history struck in 1960 - killing more than 1600 people.Numerous links to Chilean media, in Spanish and English, are at this site.
Chile Facebook Fan Pages like this one have already been established.
Earthquake and Tsunami coverage is streaming live from USTREAM and TV de Chile.
Live Coverage at USTREAM
Chile is not the only land mass threatened by the Tsunami. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has issued an evacuation for all of Hawaii's islands because the earthquake in Chile has generated a wider range of tsunami threats that could cause damage along the coastlines of all the Hawaiian islands.
People in Hawaii are being warned to take urgent action to protect lives and property. A wide area of the Pacific is under a tsunami warning, and the center says there's even a possibility California and parts of Alaska could be affected.
More social network updates will be added to this blog as they occur.