© Reuters/Yuri GripasPeople stand outside the World Bank headquarters building in Washington as they evacuated after an earthquake which struck the east coast of the United States August 23, 2011.
Just one minute after the 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck in the state of Virginia on Tuesday and shook much of the U.S. eastern seaboard, an online aftershock of 40,000 tweets hit the internet.
Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center got an additional 15,000 "likes" on Facebook ahead of Hurricane Irene's advance.
Social networking sites are increasingly critical to reporting and responding to such disasters, the Department of Health and Human Services, the American Red Cross, and the U.S. National Weather Service said in a Facebook Live event.
Surveys have shown that a majority of Americans believe response agencies should be monitoring social media, Director of Disaster Services at the American Red Cross Trevor Riggen said in the videoconference.