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SoCal earthquake has everyone a-Twitter

July 29, 2008 |  1:12 pm

QuakeUPDATED: On its blog, Twitter posted a chart showing how quickly information spread after the earthquake. And it gives credit to a user named Caroline (Vixy) as the first to Twitter the quake. Her post was short and to the point: "Earthquake." Here's a roundup of early tweets that broke the news.


Twitter was first on the scene again when an estimated 5.4-magnitude earthquake struck near Los Angeles today.

Tweets started rumbling nearly as soon as the ground stopped shaking. That's a lot of Twittering on the Richter scale.

"So, now people tweet first and then run for safety?" one amused onlooker commented on Feedalizr.

To be fair, regular-people-turned-citizen-journalists used all kinds of social messaging services to get the word out about the latest natural disaster. The quake quickly became a popular topic on FriendFeed and elsewhere.

Twitter is just one of the fastest ways ...

... to disseminate information. That was the case in May when a 7.8 earthquake hit China. Now Twitter also has a new search site (formerly called Summize) which makes it easier to find information. Just go to Twitter and search for earthquake.

VentureBeat's Eric Eldon posted a message on Twitter: "hope no one was hurt in SoCal earthquake. also, not looking forward to yet more posts about twitter breaking the news *first*"

In fact, Eldon said: "i hear people in SoCal heard about the earthquake through twitter before the earthquake even started!"

Talk about ground-breaking technology.

Here's a feed of tweets containing the term "earthquake."

flash 9 required

-- Jessica Guynn

Photo: Los Angeles Police Department employees react to the earthquake in downtown L.A. Credit: Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times