Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom tells us via a spokeswoman: "There are now 10 pictures per second being posted with the hashtag #sandy -- most are images of people prepping for the storm and images of scenes outdoors."

The total photos posted as of now:

PandoDaily's Sara Lacy asks whether "Hurricane Sandy ... could be Instagram’s big citizen journalism moment."

Just like the last three Presidential elections have been transformed by a new social media service — YouTube, Facebook and now Twitter — natural disasters and tragedies are emerging as a way for social media services to gain respect and legitimacy as world-changing agents as well.

You can see why a national disaster as told through Instagram could be powerful... In theory, Instagram has Twitter’s immediacy, and a broader reach, since it pushes notices out via Twitter, Facebook, Instgram’s own network, and email. Clearly images are the best way to tell a story like this, and Instagram’s whole raison d’être is to make people better photographers. Add to that the storm’s target on urban, hipster, we’re-not-scared New Yorkers, and the time seems as good as any for the revolution to be Instagrammed.

Related: 5 creative ways journalists are covering Hurricane Sandy online | That photo of the Tomb of the Unknowns guard in the rain? It’s from September | The 6 memes of Hurricane Sandy | Hurricane Sandy coverage cliches in GIF form || Earlier: How to curate Instagram by reposting newsworthy photos | What journalists should know about Instagram