Tracking the quake on Twitter

I’ve been tracking “quake” and “earthquake” on Twitter. There was a continuous flow of information as soon as the quake hit.

9:14 pm Update:
Wanna see more? Part 2 of this transcript is here.

10:31 pm Update:
Part 3 is here. That’s all folks!

10/31/2007 Update:
Just wanted to clarify that the start of this transcript was about a minute after the quake – i.e. this does not include the very first tweets. According to @laughingsquid, @sofia was the first person to post to twitter about this quake.

andykaufman: earthquake nice shaker in the mission/noe
elatable: Huge earthquake in East Bay
mintigal: Just felt our first tremor, very slight, but like a big rig riding past
me: Track quake
twitter: You’ll now receive updates matching ‘quake’. To stop, send ‘untrack quake’.
sacca: Earthquake!!!!! Woohoo!!
me: track earthquake
twitter: (joshtynjala): Just felt my first quake. That was awesome!
You’ll now receive updates matching ‘earthquake’. To stop, send ‘untrack earthquake’.
briancaldwell: my whole building just shifted
(oscarjr): omg! did u feel the quake?
(sallypnut): Whoa. Hello, earthquake.
(krob): Earthquake in the Bay Area!
(tychay): Earthquake. Sweet.
(vglshn): An earthquake has my cat on edge.
(chipotlecoyote): Earthquake. Fascinating.
(trevor_m_wilson): earthquake in Berkeley
(jimgoldstein): Earthquake in SF
(rcrowley): Earthquake!
(jonk): earthquake!!!!
(MizLit): Earthquake!
(Golabutron): Earthquake!
(malerin): EARTHQUAKE
Nymo: OMG, Earthquake
(jakeludington): Anyone else feel an earthquake in the South Bay about now?
(lloydgomez): Modesto just had an earthquake! Yikes…..
(shawnbot): Whee, earthquake!
(sct): earthquake??
(homesliced): a little shaken from my 1st SF earthquake
(Fenchurch): Whoa, violent earthquake. Not the rolling kind, but a shaky one.
(stevepm): Hello earthquake, welcome to my dinner party.
(hizKNITS): earthquake?
(bernie): wow. best quake yet!
(synergist): Earthquake!
(deebeedee): WOW, we just had an earthquake!!
(aliciarenee): Earthquake! and haus still stands. huzzah.
(abhaykumar): Whoah. Anyone else just feel that? My first earthquake!
(mjyazzie): Earthquake!!!!!
(head_zoo_keeper): that was a pretty big earthquake — a fore-shock?
(lhalff): Quake!
(mpeachey): Earthquake. San mateo. Decent size. Lasted 15i20 seconds.
(dan_mcweeney): That was either a small earthquake or a big ass truck.
(romeroax): Earthquake?
(catcubed): earthquake! Long and fairly strong one too.
(AnthonyBaker): Cripes! That was a big earthquake.
leahculver: earthquake!
(mat): Wow! Big quake!
(dialect): WHOA, we just had a crazy earthquake here!!!
(lisapadilla): earthquake
(scottchaile): We just had a big earthquake!
(shirasade): Wowza – earthquake! I guess I really am in California…
(askpang): Just had an earthquake! Not big enough to knock anything over, but big enough to make the house shake.
(bigepaz): Earthquake?
(misskaren): hmmm earthquake. guessing high 4, 4.8
(radioluxembourg): earthquake?
(odannyboy): EARTHQUAKE!
(goodwillstacy): Earthquake!
(SlightlySasha): Jesus. Earth quake!!
(jonchan): earthquake?
(Frang): significant quake just hit. Don’t know size just yet. Lasted a long time too
(kurtbrockett): whoa…..earthquake
(booboolina): Earthquake! And a long one at that.
(DylanThawt): woah, just felt a gnarly earthquake.
(donpark): whoa. a long earthquake
(kevindente): Earthquake!
(halletecco): earthquake
(kenn): Earthquake!
(musicalholiday): Whoa. Earthquake!
(bsii): earthquake.
(rickyromero): Holy shit, that quake spooked me.
(samuraiBSD): woah, mild quake in Oakland…anyone else feel that (if you’re in the Bay Area, that is)
(caffeina): Earthquake or whatever. NOT BAD.
(torrez): Big quake.
(shaper): Serious earthquake in SF a second ago, I actually got under my desk.
(thomashan): major earthquake in the Bay Area, CA!
(caffeined): Whoa! Good size earthquake just now.
(someToast): The first one not so much, but this quake I noticed.
(yoandrocky): earthquake!!
(PamK): Rumbles of something like an earthquake here in Hillsborough, CA
(rafer): earthquake in the mission! 4.4?
(jdaisy): earthquake
(whatman75): Woah! Nothing like a little earthquake to go along with my walk home
(gils9965): Woohoo. Mini earthquake. I thought I had too much to drink.
(mtanne): Wow. BIG earthquake. Lastest a long time.
(Quikchange): Earthquake! It was my first one since moving to California. I was hoping that shit would fall down and none did though [frown]
(raynbow_me): We just had one HELL of an earthquake
(theleftcoast): just experienced a rather lengthy yet mild earthquake. The apartment building was swaying.
(trishC): That was an earthquake…..yep, whole building moved….. a bit freaky…. yeah…
(csoriano): Holy shite. In Gilroy at an Arby’s. EARTHQUAKE JUST NOW!!! Crazy. Everything seems to be ok.
(labspaz): I am missing Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin… Cause of work… ;( and we just had an earthquake…
(mikecreighton): A little put off by the earthquake that just happened. So was Rexie.
(aki_wah): my first earthquake in the new apartment!
(yoz): Okay, that was the strongest earthquake I’ve ever experienced. (Mission Dolores.)
(tonystubblebine): wondering if sarah felt that quake. it was long. eggs didn’t notice, did you eggs?
(raylee): Earthquake!
(eskimogirl43): Shook up by the earthquake
(lmorchard): Whoa. Quake in the south bay (Santa Clara, CA), first time every feeling one and assuming that’s what it was
(jessykate): earthquake?? i swear i just felt one! (in monterey)
(ridgeracer): First the brown out this morning and now we just had an earthquake.
(crazybob): Earthquake!
(bs): EARTHQUAKE!!!!
(StarFire2258): Earthquake.
(clunkclunk): Pretty decent earthquake just hit the bay area. Not enough to cause any damage, but a nice 15 seconds of shaking.
(kndy): Is it me or is there an earthquake right now!
(tones): earthquake!!
(afex): woohoo! my first earthquake! that was neat.
(critke): earthquake – just a little one. gives me the creeps.
(rubaiyat): woot earthquake! and dreamy afterglow! All’s fine here.
(osi): whee earthquake!
(g808): Whoa. Earthquake! Really felt that one.
t: earthquake!
(williammanning): just had a earthquake. Not sure how big it is.
(nileshd): was it an earthquake???? It was a good 10 seconds…
(rycaut): that was the first big earthquake I’ve experienced since moving to the bay area
(lisaphillips): earthquake!
Fogview: Just felt an earthquake lasting 30 seconds here near Livermore, CA. House was moving back and forth.
(rrwhite): My first quake … it was nice an gentle to me
(adammathes): That was definitely and earthquake.
(pdow): woah, earthquake!!
(korntee): Just felt quake
(AnthonyBaker): Largest amount of shaking I’ve personally felt since 1989’s quake. (csman): yep, that was an earthquake
(rands): Earthquake
(mutgoff): I think there was just an earthquake! And it was cool!
(ritcheyer): earthquake in campbell.. big enough to stand in a doorway for 30 seconds
(kyleshank): earthquake
(DericHorn): @rands Earthquake… Did you feel it?
(daveman692): Earthquake!
(antoniocapo): people – did you feel that earthquake in menlo park, ca?
(happyinwater): Earthquake!
(judielaine): Damn, i felt that. And it lasted a while. (Earthquake)
(corypina): Earthquake!
(hjem): Earthquake @ rockridge. Or someone is shaking my car.
(tiffchow): Woah! Earthquake? Shimmy shimmy shimmy!
(treeswing): Earthquake!!
(RexPechler): Earthquake in Santa Cruz!
(KuraFire): earthquake in the south bay just now
(jbeck): Earthquake just befor 8 pm pacific time
(cg): EarthQuake in MTV – biggie – my guess 6.0 +
(jspepper): Earthquake – or big truck. I think it was an earthquake.
(DevilBlueDress): ok. who just felt the earthquake?
(N3wtR0ckn13): Holy cow we just had an earthquake…
(tshepa): earthquake. tasman and fair oaks sunnyvale ca
(beadfanatic): Earthquake! A small one, but shakey!!
charleneli: just felt a tremor, two short bursts in San Mateo
(Antigone): EARTHQUAKE! Just hit in San Jose, CA. Checking USGS site for stats now.
(IgorMinar): Earthquake here in Sunnyvale, CA – no damages but scarry
(Herb): @apenny earthquake, where?
(solrac66): Hmm… Earthquake or semi-truck?
(jimgoldstein): @arielwaldman didn’t you get the memo I’m supposed to be the first on to announce the earthquake
(tpbrown): Finally felt my first earthquake.
(one9): earthquake! N Sf. I still feel the rolling quakes…
(apenny): wow that was a big earthquake, i hope everyone is safe.
(sarahsosiak): whoa! earthquake.
(herdiansah): earthquake in SF….
(hdiwan): Ne1 feel da quake just now?
(borourke): Watching all the twitterers report the earthquake on Twittervision.
(arleneg): just felt an earthquake!
(mediajunkie): whoah serious quake, kind of a double
(webomatica): gee, felt an earthquake in the bay area.
(Lobsticles): 1st earthquake…well 1st one I felt
(Chrysocolla): ooh, earthquake. wonder where it was. surfs
(mjmalone): ahh, earthquake!
(nolimits): riding the waves of an earthquake
(homebysix): That was probably the biggest quake I’ve felt yet…
(cyclelicious): earthquake! Santa Cruz County, about magnitude 3.
briancaldwell: damn that was sizable quake
(TRMite): just experienced my first earthquake. ever so slight but it was real.
(tonybojo): just enjoyed a nice little earthquake. i think.
(alexfalk): oh, sure, @earthquake ‘s updates are protected…. go figure.
(ChrisWeiss): <- Bay area earthquake map (no update yet)
(mccammon): Standing outside office after earthquake
(lisachan13): Wow. Earthquake.
(vinayd): looking for details on the quake
(yetanother): quake?
(salimismail): just experienced my first earthquake… boy that was nuts… the paintings on the walls were quivering like mad… feel a bit nauseous…
(cody): Sitting at the W Hotel in Newark, CA, and just felt the biggest earthquake of my 5 aggregate years in CA.
(garyrw): Earthquake!
(Mykul): Just had an earthquake.
(lyena): Earthquake! A long one this time. But not strong enough to knock stuff off the walls.
(lkonstan): just felt an earthquake. A small one.
(livia): Quake (novas0x2a): Earthquake data:
(junyu): Just earthquake…
(ian23): riding the office-building-in-earthquake-zone ride
(legirl): …yeah. that was an earthquake.
(Remo_Uherek): Just experienced an earthquake in SF. What was it? A 4 or 5 on the richter scale? The news will tell [nose smile]
(Coley): Yaaaay! My first earthquake! [equal grin]
(tduffy): Earthquake!
(skell): Sounds like an earthquake just now in SF. How big?
(Dan_): @veronica @irinaslutsky @radioluxembourg – all talking about a Quake in California! I love Twitter!!
(eatsmog): Shit. Earthquake scare. Just ran outside cuz I do not trust the building i live in.
(cdr): just had a mild earthquake – maybe a 4?
(pyknosis): Whoah. Earthquake.
(MacDude): Earthquake. Looks like the Hayward fault
(ruby): SF-ers are twittering an earthquake! Now that’s live. Be safe, all.
(kaydub): ok, how big was the quake?
(prepop): earthquake!
(seancorfield): woohoo! earthquake!
(mwalsh): Earthquake?
(spandana): Whoa! An earthquake!
(n1s): Earthquake! Damn. That was a big one.
(jalgot): just experienced first earthquake. wow
(irinaslutsky): earthquake?
(mikegoelzer): Earthquake? (Might have just been the BMW people upstairs.)
(toddsampson): Holy crap… Biggest earthquake I have ever felt!
(jimgoldstein): Checking to see the size of the earthquake (sharon): That was the biggest earthquake ever.
(topperge): I just had my earthquake cherry popped
(glenc): Just had a fairly major earthquake – lasted about 25 seconds, rolling and bouncing. Some aftershocks.
(pacificIT): Earthquake
(winehiker): Just experienced a decent-sized earthquake here in the SF Bay Area, centered in the hills east of San Jose. Not sure of the magnitude yet.
(theamericanxp): I think there was a earthquake in california. Many twitters coming through
(Tracy27): Ooh, earthquake!
(rnewman): that was a hell of a quake!
(douglawson): Wow, we just had our first earthquake! Everyone is cool, though.
(brandyk): first earthquake!
(rklau): EARTHQUAKE!
(yourhopeness): there was an earthquake 3mins ago. it’s scary. grabbed my daughter and my son panicked. Oh Lord, please give me the strength. Guide us!
(silentsensei): Just had a big rolling earthquake. Nothing broke, but things were really rocking. All is ok here. I’m going to bed.
(lchin2): Earthquake!!! Scared Jawa off the couch. Estimate it to be about 4.5.
(kul): wondering who was the first person to twitter the earthquake. @sacca was pretty quick!
(jeffreymcmanus): quake knocked a candlestick off a shelf at our place
(scruzgeek): Rockin and rollin in Marin with a (guessing) 5.5 quake
(yobosensei): earthquake at least 15sec!!!!
(lostingrovont): Earthquake at 8:05PM:
(webguy2k): earthquake was what size?
(michael): long 12 second earthquake
(itsthomas): small earthquake in the bay area. felt that one!
(mdann50): damm we just had an earthquake….
(kevnull): I ordered that quake for @coley
(gwachob): It was a “vibrating” earthquake – no sharp jolts
(rjray): That was the biggest quake I’ve felt since moving here in 1997. Anyone have a link to data?
(krob): following the earthquake on twitter….fun and cool, so timely
(willkirkpatrick): EARTHQUAKE!!!!!!
(garbear): It’s sad that it takes an earthquake to meet your neighbors.
(pquerna): quake.
(nbrosnahan): woot!! earthquake!!!
(pohl): Phone call with jon interrupted by quake. Quake telepresence cherry is popped.
(TheLaughingImp): @emilychang, @ianmckellar & others. Hope it isn’t a bad quake. Take care of yourselves.
(netzkobold): Wow, I just experienced my first real earthquake in California
(jonhall): earthquake!
(stevecooley): Earthquake, woo
(tempo): I was in the big quake of ’89 and this one reminded me of that one–seemed to go on and on…
(rharmes): That earthquake was no joke. My guess, at least a 5.5.
(itzpapalotl): OMG earthquake
(cboone): Now they’ve stopped the train for an earthquake. Not a good day for the train.
(vaccine): Big earthquake!
(jeremybrooks): Sissy little baby quake in el Cerrito
(image415): earthquake
(cgerrish): Earthquake in SF just now – Any word on its richter reading?
(nagutron): Word. Earthquake… Not too subtle, either. Will email coord to sfo…
(tirana): wow! that was a nice earthquake there!
(pragmatic): Earthquake!
(kucharo): @golabutron the only time you get on twitter is for an earthquake! (istarman): @veronica earthquake? mathewi: Google wants one ring to bind them: After much rumour and speculation about what Google might do as far a..
(pmb777): 5.6 quake, biggest one I’ve ever felt.
(TDavid): Earthquake was 2.9 on richter scale
(akshayjava): whooooaaaah earthquake was scary!!!
(Jeremiah_Angel): Holy shit, my first earthquake! Wahoo!
(yobosensei): earthquake in san francisco!!!!!!!1
(OmarShahine): I just felt a quake. it felt bigger than normal
(krob): 5.6 quake near San Jose
(gustaf): earthquake! my legs are still shaking. Oh, i’m not from here…[smile]
(attitune): ANOTHER earthquake in the east bay….and this felt like a long one, too. (dbcohen): earthquake “shake” page
(danielha): earthquake and i’m twittering
(ksmarshall): @kurtbrockett was that an earthquake? kind of felt like one. i won’t feel like a real SF resident until i experience an earthquake
(happyinwater): Boring small earthquake. 15 seconds of shaking. House is still rocking.
(Jocelyn): I flirted during the quake!
(cheekyattitude): Il2007 earthquake
(NurtureGirl): @melis WOW! Thank you for sharing about the San Fran area earthquake. Looking it up now.
(kndy): It’s interesting how a lot of us twittered “earthquake” nearly at the same time…I thought I was getting lightheaded…. News reports …
(ladylexy): Rae beat me to Twittering because she was on her computer instead of hiding from the earthquake. No fair.
(nanaze): Apparently we just had an earthquake. How do I know? Adam’s Twitter told me so. I, of course, didn’t feel a thing.
(admc): I’ve never had an earthquake nock me over.. holy crap.
(kidrocky7): earthquake in cali’? friend said it just happened
(Fungible): Earthquake strength – 5.6, located 5mi NNE of Alum Rock, CA (JustinSimonsen): always afraid it’s ganna be the big one, yet just a little quake (shawnferry): wondering how soon after the earthquake started the first earthquake twitter was sent
(jennatar): @adammathes Definitely! I just finished cowering in my doorway. Also, when my computer tweeted, I said aloud, “Someone felt the earthquake.”
(jcrow): Anybody know what that earthquake just registered in Santa Cruz? My wife and I have a bet. I didn’t even feel it.
(Mrs_Bobcat): That was … interesting. What does it say that it took me to realize it was an earthquake, not my kids running in the house?
(Menta): Omg. There was just a huge earthquake. That was so scary!
(jet66): Ok, ok, i’ll join in. EARTHQUAKE!
(sundar_spark): Wow! My first earthquake experience. But went away before I could realise what it was
(Dan_): Holy shit! Earthquake (5.6 on richter) in East Bay area…
(virginie): just felt my first big earthquake!!!! our offices were really shaking, okay I am kinda scared [smile]
(bobm512z): just had a big eath quake in no cal (jwshin): earthquake!
(jspiro): 5.6 earthquake w00t
(mcnitt): #earthquake 5.6!
(aki_wah): earthquake was 5.6
(sfsuradiodj): Damn I just felt a fucking earthquake……that was awesome!…ineed a wall mount for the westy
(toddsampson): Earthquake: 5.6!
(mukund): Earthquake Sunnyvale registered
(skinnyjeans): Trying to find out the richter reading for the earthquake we just had. It made me dizzy and scared.
(thatguynamedtom): Lol. Earthquake hit Stockton. First person i called the laurel she’s ok. But the phones are tied up now
(ZappCatt): wowsers…any other SF bay peeps feel that quake????? it was AWESOME!!!! Largest I have felt in awhile
(austingovella): no quake news on cnn. they should import a twitter feed…
(seanness): Nice quake!
(sbraford): just felt a 5.6 earthquake here in SF:
(MosioQuestions): how big was that earthquake in sf just now? -hunter : Mosio
(clith): Earthquake in San Francisco around 5 on Richter scale: (callous): 5.6 Magnitude quake in San Jose.
(halostatue): yes. 5.5 earthquake. FTW
(erku): Could anyone please write short news about the Earthquake and submit to ? Thank you.
(edrabbit): Wow. 5.6 earthquake, my biggest and longest so far.
factoryjoe: Wow, ‘track earthquake’ and ‘track quake’ is off the hook!! FYI:
(karina): 5.6 earthquake in sj!
(nullalux): Big freekin’ earthquake anyone? Spencer is beside himself.
(ruff): Andy is Earthquake!
(Rarriaga): Felt an earthquake too — whole house shook pretty damn hard
(truemors): Earthquake- Bay Area
bpm140: Weird — driving in my car and didn’t feel a thing. Earthquake site says 5.6 in San Jose. @toddsampson you felt it at home? Jen didn’t.
(Sharmoota): Just felt her very first Earthquake
(marjens): big ass earthquake just hit. not sure how big, but my house was shaking a lot
(datn): EARTHQUAKE 5.6 EPICENTER E OF MILPITAS — I thought someone was walking on the roof at first
(genecowan): WHOA. An earthquake virgin no longer.
(griffijg): @sharon. No kidding. That was a proper earthquake, my plants are still quivering!
(gort581): well that was an interesting little earthquake
(indus_khaitan): Experienced an earthquake 3 mins ago
(mukund): Earthquake felt in Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Oakland, San Francisco
(dan_mcweeney): Epicenter of quake: No magnitude yet.
(tombat24): Wow there just was this earthquake which was really scary.
(boulter): whoah, huge earthquake. All is ok here.
(Radu43): earthquake 5.6 Alum Rock, Oracle was shaking (powdahound): Earthquake! – (zachambrose): just got three tweets about a big quake in SF — no breaks for CA this month
(rberger): Earthquake that shook the house 8:05pm
(jbone66): Did u feel the earthquake? That was a strong one…
(moggymania): Looking up information on (and the reporting page for) the earthquake we just had…
(neilkumar): ha, wasn’t sure that was an earthquake, until I started to get the twitters on my sidekick
(kristi7): just experienced an earthquake for the first time. bizarre.
(rddy): oooh… that was a nice little earthquake!!
(gyardley): huh, earthquake was magnitude 5.6. biggest i’ve personally been through.
(bear): Quake in San Fran area – twitter is all over it
charleneli: 5.6 tremor 9 miles NE of San Jose, 8:05pm PT.
(lmorchard): Wheeee, first twitterquake participation and first earthquake we’ve actually felt since moving to CA.
(billwesterman): earthquake! in bay area! woot! about 15 miles from home … no damage, lots of fun
(madpod): 5.6 Earthquake
(fling93): I was at Tied House when the quake hit and just watched the mugs on the wall dance around.
(sprsquish): The scariest part about that quake was that it was offshore and I live in a tsunami zone.
(DevilBlueDress): C’mon folks. There was just an earthquake in the bay area. we’re on bedrock in the hills and we felt it. anyone feel it? at 8:05pm
(zangomango): earthquake!!
(jkusters): Whee! Quake!
(Grenadinegirl): shakin’ from the earthquake!!!!!!!!!!
(gwachob): Could this be the first twitterquake? Could this be quake that makes twitter a household name? hahah
(deadrich): whoooo SF EARTHQUAKE!
(frogknits): we just had a 5.6 earthquake
(danielpunkass): Looks like the CA earthquake was a 5+
(natech): He just felt earthquake! His first time ever!
(Twitster): Wow that is the longest quake ever!
(sentience): Watching Twitter intently for news on the earthquake in SF.
(solrac66): @nileshd Chances of simultaneous convoys of semi-trucks driving by both of us is pretty slim. Must have been a quake.
(douglawson): Here’s the quake data from the one we just felt: No damage, though.

16 thoughts on “Tracking the quake on Twitter

  1. Andy Kaufman

    nice one Mike!

    i started chuckling when i was firing that first tweet off and thought of how many others were doing the same

    this quake was well twittered.

  2. Cyclelicious

    I thought the same thing as Andy as I twittered the quake from my home in Santa Cruz County. It was very noticeable here, so it must been sizable over in the East Bay.

  3. mdoeff Post author

    What’s funny is this blog post is already getting decent traffic from Google, just minutes after I posted it.

  4. mdoeff Post author

    Bradley – yes, it was amazing that the tweets started in real-time when the shaking started. Unbelievable.

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  7. thomashan

    I was pretty impressed myself after I twittered about the Bay Area earthquake (I got tracked by you above).

    Twitter is where I get lots of news nowadays, much faster than any major media

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  9. dotBen

    I’m so proud of my wife Sofia for twittering first!!!

    And to agree with the points made above, twitter is so useful during breaking news events.

    I just hope Twitter, and it’s dependent services (internet trunking, wireless carriers,etc ) stay up if/when the “big one” comes.


  10. Mike Doeff

    @thestand – That’s what’s kind of scary about this. If a mild quake like this one generated this kind of response what will it be like when the big one hits? To dotBen’s point, will the infrastructure for this type of messaging hold up? There is also the issue of lots of noise and not too much signal on all of the quake chatter that was going on.

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