And even though the earthquake struck just this morning, the social media response has been incredible. Dozen of updates about Japan are hitting Facebook every second, as thousands upon thousands of people share news about the tragedy or try to check in with friends and family who may be in danger.
Twitter was also inundated with tweets from Tokyo, as nearly 1,200 tweets per minute were streaming in from the endangered city. But even more interesting (and useful) was the users were able to update people on the estimated time of arrival of the tsunami waves before the official warning went out from the government.
Google has also stepped up relief efforts with their Google Crisis Center, which aggregates important and relevant articles and information about the crisis in Japan. The site also features Google's People Finder tool to help people locate and connect up with their loved ones in Japan. Considering how jammed up telephone companies get during these crises, it seems to be a very useful tool.
Obviously the crisis itself and the safety of the people involved are paramount in times like this, but its good to see the level of response online.