Early Tracking of People’s Reaction in Twitter for Fast Reporting of Damages in the Mercalli Scale

  • Marcelo MendozaEmail author
  • Bárbara Poblete
  • Ignacio Valderrama
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10914)


The Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale is a measure of the severity of an earthquake for a nonscientist. Since the Mercalli scale is based on perceived effects, it has a strong dependence on observers. Typically, these reports take time to be prepared and, as a consequence, Mercalli intensities are published hours after the occurrence of an earthquake. The National Seismological Center of Chile needs to provide a preliminary overview of the observed effects of an earthquake. This has motivated us to create a system for early tracking of people’s reaction in social networks to infer Mercalli intensities. By tracking people’s comments about the effects of an earthquake, a collection of Mercalli point estimates is retrieved at county level of granularity. We introduce the concept of Reinforced Mercalli support that combines Mercalli point estimates with social support, allowing to discard social unsupported estimates. Experimental results show that our proposal is accurate providing early Mercalli reports 30 min after an earthquake, detecting the maximum Mercalli intensity of an event with high accuracy in terms of mean absolute error (MAE).


Social networks Disaster management Mercalli intensity Social media during emergencies 



M. Mendoza was funded by Conicyt PIA/Basal FB0821. This work was also supported by the Millennium Nucleus Center for Semantic Web Research under Grant NC120004.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcelo Mendoza
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bárbara Poblete
    • 2
  • Ignacio Valderrama
    • 2
  1. 1.Centro Científico y Tecnológico de ValparaísoUniversidad Técnica Federico Santa MaríaValparaísoChile
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversidad de ChileSantiagoChile

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