Natural disasters once again take prevalence on the list of fastest rising South African searches for the month of March, according to Google.
Google Zeitgeist, a tool that provides insight into Web searches, reveals that the earthquake and tsunami that took place in Japan on 11 March have captured five places on the list, after the quake in New Zealand took the top spot last month.
"Japan earthquake" comes in at number one, followed by "tsunami" and "tsunami in japan". The last few places on the list focus on the current Cricket World Cup, with many South Africans still in mourning over the Proteas’ disappointingly early exit from the tournament.
The events in Japan also appear on the list of fastest rising Google image searches for the month of March, indicating that many South Africans wanting to comprehend the extent of the disaster, turned to the Internet for visuals. With multimedia sources becoming increasingly available, users also flocked to YouTube to see actual footage from the day. Videos such as "Tsunami slams Northeast Japan’" and "Powerful quake hits Japan’" have already received over 9-million and 5-million views respectively.
Despite global events, celebrities also feature on the image list – as always. Model Tracy McGregor appears in fourth position, perhaps because of the recent notoriety she received as Playboy South Africa’s first cover girl. Vanessa Hudgens’ break-up with High School Musical veteran, Zac Efron, also captured a lot of attention, with the young actress claiming the number seven spot. Controversial R&B artist, Chris Brown, takes eighth place amidst the media frenzy surrounding his recent backstage outburst after an interview on Good Morning America, an interview that he felt had focused too much on the Rihanna assault scandal.