Big quake spikes hits on earthquake center Web site

Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The magnitude 7.9 earthquake that shook the Interior earlier this month sharply spiked the number of hits on the Alaska Earthquake Information Center's Web site.

The site went from fewer than 20,000 hits the day before the Nov. 3 quake to nearly 480,000 hits on Nov. 3 and 800,000 hits the day after, said Mitch Robinson, senior program analyst at the earthquake information center, located at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute.

Internet traffic to the earthquake information center was so heavy that Robinson had to increase the site's ability to handle simultaneous hits to keep up with the flow. For nine days following the quake, visits to the center's Web page surpassed 100,000 daily.

A similar increase was seen following the magnitude 6.7 earthquake that rocked the Interior on Oct. 23, two weeks before the 7.9 quake. The day of that quake, which was located near where the Nov. 3 quake struck, the Alaska Earthquake Information Center logged 348,000 hits, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

Internet traffic also increased at the Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami Web site run by the Alaska Sea Grant College Program at UAF. The day before the 7.9 quake struck, just 34 hits were recorded on the site's home page. In the hour following the big temblor, nearly 1,600 hits were recorded.

The number of hits to the earthquake information center's Web site on the day of and the day after the quake was equivalent to the number of hits the UAF Web server usually gets in a month.

The university doesn't track individuals accessing UAF Web sites, but it does monitor traffic volume to its sites. The UAF Web server hosts in excess of 137,000 documents and Web pages and receives an average of 1.2 million hits per month.

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