Hurricane, Earthquake Cause Search Spike

August 31, 2011

Two major natural events affecting much of the United States East Coast occured last week, causing big spikes in searches for on-the-scene and news footage on YouTube. In fact, "Hurricane Irene" was the top rising search on YouTube in the United States over the past seven days.

Below you can see searches for "earthquake" (blue) and "hurricane" (red) over recent weeks:

The last major U.S. spike we saw around the word "hurricane" was back in September of 2008, when Hurricane Ike caused severe damage to the coast of Texas on the Gulf of Mexico.

The east coast earthquake also caused a smaller spike in searches last week, but it was still the third largest we've seen for the word "earthquake" since 2008. The largest spike ever came earlier this year following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Second was the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

(Mouse over the spikes to view the correlating earthquake.)

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