"The collapse of traditional channels of communication in Haiti has again highlighted the role of social media and the internet in disasters.
Twitter is being used as a prime channel for communications, while sites such as Ushahidi are providing maps detailing aid and damage.
Both Google and Facebook are producing missing persons lists.
Explore Pope Francis' environmental encyclical. Receive our FREE readers' guide when you sign up for the weekly Eco Catholic email.
Satellite networks are also diverting resources to provide communications to aid agencies and the military.
The very first images to escape from the region after Tuesday's earthquake came from citizens, capturing video with mobile phones."
Just $5 a month supports NCR's independent Catholic journalism.
We are committed to keeping our online journalism open and available to as many readers as possible. To do that, we need your help. Join NCR Forward, our new membership program.
Looking for comments?
We've suspended comments on NCRonline.org for a while. If you missed that announcement, learn more about our decision here.