Earthquake Strikes Vermont; State Collectively Tweets in Response | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Earthquake Strikes Vermont; State Collectively Tweets in Response


Published June 23, 2010 at 4:40 p.m.

If you were feeling a bit shaken up today, you weren't alone.

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake struck 33 miles NNE of Ottawa, Canada at 1:41 this afternoon. Rumblings from the quake were felt here in Vermont, and as far away as Chicago.

Surprised that earthquakes can be felt so far away? According to the USGS, "earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains, although less frequent than in the west, are typically felt over a much broader region...A magnitude 5.5 eastern earthquake usually can be felt as far as 500 km (300 mi) from where it occurred, and sometimes causes damage as far away as 40 km (25 mi)."

What was our first reaction to the shaking at the Seven Days office? Well, one designer offered that if the folks from the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (with whom we share an office building) evacuated, we should follow suit. They didn't, so we naturally took to Twitter to figure out what was going on.

The award for "first Tweet recognizing the Great Vermont Quake of 2010" goes to Steve McIntyre (@Steve_McIntyre):

#btv Anybody else feel a little earthquake?

Way to stay cool under pressure and Tweet when the rest of us were still paralyzed with fear and confusion, Steve.

The conspiracy theories about the cause of the quake quickly began pouring into Twitter. From Powder Magazine associate editor Mike Rogge (@skiingrogge):

#Vermont just experienced the largest cow tipping prank in it's history and mistaked it for an earthquake.

After Landon Donovan's last-minute goal to send the USA soccer team to the next round of the World Cup, soccer-themed cracks were especially timely. From The Essex (@EssexResortSpa):

Sorry about the earthquake, folks... It was just an aftershock from people jumping up&down in the Tavern after the US win. #btv #vt

Benjamin Higgins (@daidojiryushi) blamed the quake on the vuvuzelas, those love-em-or-hate-em plastic horns buzzing non-stop at the World Cup:

#BTV Earthquake: Butterfly Effect from Vuvuzela? #worldcup  #vtquake

I'm starting to feel sorry for vuvuzelas — they're getting blamed for everything.

Speaking of "blamed for everything"... From Meghan Butler (@The_Megster):

This earthquake was BP's fault. #btv #vtquake #earthquake #bpcares

Liz Small's (@LizSmall_Design) dog knew what was coming before us humans did:

I am still in shock. No wonder the dog was acting weird today. They sense stuff like that! #btv #vt #earthquake

But wait - -maybe the Seven Days' designers had a premonition of their own. The cover of today's issue reads "Shake it up!" Creepy.

The Tweet that best sums up today's ordeal, though, comes from Elise Richardson (@eliserichardson):

used twitter search to find out if that really was a #tremor - it was. 1yr ago i would've googled it. Twitter's faster. #btv #earthquake

Too true, Elise.