Local News

Social network sites provide link to Haiti

Posted January 15, 2010 6:22 p.m. EST
Updated January 15, 2010 6:30 p.m. EST

— When the ground shook Tuesday in Haiti, social networking sites lit up. Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and other sites have become a reliable way to find out what's happening in the island nation and to organize help.

Within hours of Tuesday's earthquake, Haiti was one of the most popular topics on Twitter. Users posted updates and photos to connect the people on the ground in Port-au-Prince with the world.

Some Twitter users in Haiti are providing live updates about survivors, including their names and conditions, while others have even been coordinating rescue operations, trying to locate and save those who are trapped.

Many Haitians are turning to the koneksyon.com message board, where people are posting details about missing friends and family members.

Thousands of people have registered for an that has created a database for people to find information on their friends and relatives in Haiti.

A Facebook group called Earthquake Haiti has more than 168,000 users, who are posting pictures of missing loved ones, swapping information about how to check on survivors and warning about donation scams. Many people are joining the group just to offer help and words of support.

Kellee Metty of Durham, who was in Haiti when the earthquake hit and is trying to return home, is using her Facebook page to keep her family updated about her situation. Metty is with three other women from the Triangle.

WRAL News photographer Tom Normanly is headed to Haiti with members of the 82nd Airborne Division. His Twitter page will provide information as to what he and the Fort Bragg troops see.