Boston websites down; users advised not to make calls
This post has been updated. See below for details.Following at least two explosions during the Boston Marathon, many websites in the area have gone offline and the Associated Press is reporting that the city is shutting down cellphone service to prevent use of the device to trigger a bomb.
Verizon said it has not been asked by government officials to shut off cellphone service. Meanwhile, Sprint said it did not turn off its cell phone service either, but it recommends people use text messages instead of phone calls as they have more of a chance of getting through.]
According to reports, two explosions went off at the finish line for the Boston Marathon, injuring dozens of people and killing at least two. That’s causing many to check websites for the city, resulting in Internet traffic jams that are bringing down the sites.
At the time of this writing, the Boston Globe’s website was down, which has forced the newspaper to turn to its Twitter account to report news to readers. Boston.com is also having issues, as is CityOfBoston.gov. Some on Twitter said earlier the Boston Herald’s website was down, but it appears to be up though it is running noticeably slower. That’s also the case for the website of the Boston Athletic Assn., which organized the Boston Marathon.
The Red Cross’ SafeAndWell.org website, which is used during disasters and emergency situations to help connect people, is also having a hard time loading. Anne Marie Borrego, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross, said the website is having a hard time working right now but said users should keep trying it.
“When you have a site that’s inundated, it’s just going to take some time,” she said. “Just keep checking back.”
Borrego also advised people to try to connect with their loved ones using text messages, Twitter or Facebook. She said phone lines may be jammed or could become jammed if they try reaching their friends and family that way.
That advice was echoed by many others on Twitter.
If anyone you know is in Boston and may be affected, TEXT them because phone lines are too overcrowded at the moment. — Jeaux Beez (@JoeBxCSNW) April 15, 2013
At a news conference Monday afternoon, the Boston Police Department said people who are hoping to reach their loved ones can call (617)635-2500 to receive assistance.
[Updated, 4:12 p.m. April 15: The Associated Press is now reporting that cell service has not been shut off in Boston. This has also been reiterated to The Times by other media outlets.
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