Twitter: Over 20M tweets sent about Hurricane Sandy

The site says that's likely a conservative estimate as it only tracked the words "Sandy" and "hurricane."

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken
2 min read
AT&T wireless customers in downtown Manhattan earlier this week find the one spot in their neighborhood with a cell phone signal. Some of those people likely were checking Twitter. CNET/Dan Ackerman
More than 20 million tweets were sent about Hurricane Sandy between Saturday and yesterday, according to Twitter, and the site says that's probably a conservative estimate as it only tracked certain keywords.

The site, which followed the terms and hash tags for "Sandy" and "hurricane," also said it saw a peak at about 9 p.m. Monday in the number of times users in New York accessed their home timeline from a mobile device. That coincides with the approximate time much of the city lost power.

Also Monday, search queries related to Sandy peaked at 20 percent.

Other interesting tidbits from Twitter is that between Saturday and Tuesday, there was a 30 percent increase in tweets mentioning the Red Cross, and this week, mention of the word "donate" is at a 180-day peak while mention of "donate blood" is at a year high.

Many people turn to social networking in times of crisis, both to notify friends and loved ones about their status and to find out news from the broader Web. In New York, the mayor's office, utility companies, and other organizations have been broadcasting information in part through Twitter. For people with limited battery life left on their devices, Twitter may be their main source of news.

Twitter says it continues to offer "Promoted Crisis Tweets" to local and state authorities assisting with Sandy recovery. Some organizations that have participated in the free program include @RedCross, @FEMA, @NYCMayorsOffice, and @MDMEMA.