A look at how the #eqnz hashtag was used in the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake

Disaster Management on Twitter

The 2016 Kaikoura earthquake was a unique opportunity to look at how social media was utilized in New Zealand both during and after the earthquake event.

In the intervening years since the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, social media use has exploded in New Zealand. Social media accounts for prominent emergency services and disaster management and coordination agencies have also been set up set up to coincide with this. Many New Zealanders with either Twitter and Facebook accounts now readily utilize social media during quake events.

Facebook also rapidly deployed its Safety Check emergency feature minutes after the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake event, which was widely responded to. While Facebook deserves another article in entirety, today we will solely look at how #eqnz—the de facto New Zealand earthquake event hashtag—was used on Twitter.

Reporting Period: Sunday, 13th November 2016 to Friday, 18th November, 2016 for the #eqnz Twitter hashtag.


Jump to: Tweet VolumeEmergency servicesTop TweetsTop Twitter Accounts

Overview

Reporting Period: Sunday, 13th November 2016 to Friday, 18th November, 2016

Metric Value
Total Tweets 125,207
Tweets 28,607
Retweets
Retweeted or quoted #eqnz tweets
96,600
Engagement
Liked, replied, or retweeted an #eqnz tweets
265,131
Peak tweet/retweet intensity second
at 14th November 2016 01:20:01
43
Peak tweet/retweet intensity minute
at 14th November 2016 01:20
375

Tweet Volume

Tweets to the #eqnz hashtag were heaviest immediately following the earthquake

Emergency Services using #eqnz

Many New Zealand Emergency services, disaster management response, and other government agencies engaged with the #eqnz hashtag in the hours and days following the Kaikoura earthquake. The New Zealand Civil Defence account (MCDEM) was the most engaged with emergency service account, completely eclipsing the engagement of all other emergency services combined.

Metric Value
New Zealand Civil Defence 21,229
All other emergency response services
From The Twitter Australia list, excluding geonet and news service accounts
6,601

Top Tweets

Below are the top advisory tweets, in order of engagement. The New Zealand Civil Defence account was by far the dominant account for user engagement (retweeting, likes and replies), but provided sometimes conflicting information. This was important as their advisories were disseminated more widely than nearly all other New Zealand disaster management accounts combined under the #eqnz hashtag.










The top tweets with photos under the #eqnz hashtag mostly came from personal accounts. Local and international media utilized many photos of personal earthquake damage.











Top media tweets with video, in order of engagement







Engagement


Institutional Accounts

These were the top 10 New Zealand institutional accounts using twitter’s #eqnz hashtag whose tweets were replied to, liked or retweeted.

Account #
Tonkin Taylor Consulting Twitter Logo New Zealand Civil Defence Emergency and Disaster Updates
Civil Defence
1
Geo-Net Earthquake Monitoring Service Twitter Logo Geo Net
Research Service
2
Radio New Zealand Twitter Logo Radio New Zealand
News Service
3
New Zealand Herald Twitter Logo New Zealand Herald
News Service
4
Stuff Twitter Logo Stuff
News Service
5
Wellington Region Emergency Management's Twitter Logo Wellington Region Emergency Management
Civil Defence
6
Tonkin Taylor Consulting's Twitter Logo Tonkin+Taylor Environmental and Engineering Consultants
Private Business
7
Marlborough Emergency Event Information's Twitter Logo Marlborough Emergency Event Information
Civil Defence
8
New New Zealand Defence Force
Military
9
Get Ready Get Thru's Twitter Logo Get Ready Get Thru
Civil Defence
10

Personal Accounts

These were the top 10 New Zealand personal accounts using twitter’s #eqnz hashtag whose tweets were replied to, liked or retweeted.

Account #
Richard Bicknell's Twitter Logo Richard Bicknell
Government Relations Director at New Zealand Bankers’ Association
1
Henry McMullan's Twitter Logo Henry McMullan
Freelance Cameraman and editor
2
Grant's Twitter Logo Grant
No Information
3
George Berry's Twitter Logo George Berry
Journalism student
4
Louis Gordon Green's Logo Louis Gordon Green
Journalist
5
Thomas Mead's Twitter Logo Thomas Mead
Journalist
6
Steve Donaldson's Twitter Logo Steve Donaldson
No Information
7
Finn Dinneen's Twitter Logo Finn Dinneen
Digital Marketing Coordinator at Simmonds Stewart
8
Michael Michael Trengrove
IT Guy
9
Karen Sweeney's Twitter Logo Karen Sweeney
Political Reporter
10


Frank Dowling's Twitter LogoAbout the Author:
Frank Dowling is a social media researcher in Christchurch, New Zealand. Email him at frankdowling@gmail.com

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