Study: Katrina Halts Online Connectivity, Spurs Donations

comScore Networks, a data analysis firm tracking web site activity, reported yesterday that in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, there was a virtual halt to online connectivity in cities hit by the storm. comScore said that its studies found that on the average weekday in the week preceding the storm, approximately 700,000 people used the Internet in New Orleans. As expected, on Monday, August 29th, the usage had dropped to more than 80 percent below that level, with usage below 90 percent the following day. In Biloxi-Gulfport, there was an average of 160,000 users per weekday during the preceeding week, with a drop of 75 percent on Monday and a drop to virtually no users after the storm hit. On the upside, traffic to by people looking to lend a helping hand to storm victims has surged, with nearly 1 million people visiting the Red Cross web site on August 31st, over 32 times the average number of daily visitors from the previous week. The storm also helped to drive visitors to weather related web sites, driving 9.9 million vistors to weather site Weatherbug, and 9 million vistors to the Weather Channel web site. comScore reports and tracks web traffic and popularity.