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Moderate L.A. Earthquake Provides Good Test Of Social Safety Net
There were no reports of damages or injuries caused by the moderately strong earthquake that jolted Southern California this morning. The quake — measured at 4.4 in the Richter scale and centered near Westwood — hit at 6:25 a.m.
Immediately, Southern Californians took to Twitter and Facebook to share their shaking experiences. Fortunately, there were no reports of either service suffering an outage during the aftermath of the shaker. Also, and comfortingly, public safety agencies quickly jumped into the social media fray, providing a good test case of their emergency tweeting systems.
The Los Angeles Police Department was the quickest we saw:
San Fernando Valley shook pretty hard right now… #earthquake
— LAPD Communications (@911LAPD) March 17, 2014
Then this apparently necessary message:
The California Highway Patrol used the moment as a reminder prepare for a major disaster, sharing an Los Angeles Times infographic:
When it became clear that the quake had caused no significant damage, the social conversation quickly pivoted to humor, with the live, duck-and-cover reaction to the quake by KTLA-TV anchors Chris Schauble and Megan Henderson attracting the most attention.
They responded the way we are all taught to react during an earthquake, by diving under the nearest solid shelter. But when it happens live on television, a thousand screen captures are born.
And because today is St. Patrick’s Day, the earthquake got a nickname, #ShamrockShake. McDonalds’ social media account has thus far resisted the urge to weigh in, but networking group DigitalLA stepped to the plate: