In the first hour or so following the earthquake in southern California today, details in the media about the extent of the damage were sketchy. However, another medium of communication --the micro-blog website Twitter-- thrived in the aftermath of the earthquake and the usefulness of the website in reporting on the earthquake was noted by several media outlets (Wired had also previously reported the phenomenon of people Twittering the ongoing California wild fires). It seems as though this is the sort of thing that Twitter was designed for: quick firsthand reporting and pithy status updates for friends. Searching Twitter for mentions of the earthquake, which can be done here, reveals a cross section of reactions that puts your average "man on the street" interview to shame.
Below are a few choice Tweets:
cristilewis: hiding under my desk - earthquake!
eljacquez: Earthquake was weird. I was on the 3rd floor and it felt like my legs were swimming.
iamdamion: This was the first earthquake I felt while driving. Felt like I was on a bridge, but I was at the lido stop light. Fun. :)
MMihajlov: My Supervisor on the Cali Earthquake: "I don't know why everyone is worried about aliens when we get attacked by Earth all the time."
ChozenGirl: California had another earthquake. I wasnt scared but a few things broke. I am bummed. My room is a mess.
thedash: Nothing under a 7.0 is an earthquake.
ChrisandCeCe: Big earthquake in Los Angeles area 5.4, all our family is okay, just some broken glass!
andydugan: ever been sitting down in a movie theatre during an earthquake? its like a boat
amu311bd: So, everyone says I turned white during the earthquake. They still say I am pale.
rainydaydiamond: Earthquake? That was just a little jiggle. It takes more than that to rattle us hearty Californians!
vsqz: that earthquake was pretty dope.
angryasianguy: Awesome!! Earthquake in the middle of my "Transformers 2" callback!! Talk about Method acting!!
illuminato: Good God, CNN is making this earthquake to be a major crisis. Really, people, we're ok. It's not that big of a deal.
Othemts: Twitter trumps all news sources by being the first place I read about the California earthquake.
Streamweaver: Earthquake shook the place pretty hard. Still twittering though so how bad can it really be?
By far the most popular Tweet about the quake was this one, which we'd rather not post directly....
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