2014 California Earthquakes

2014 California Earthquakes

Updated Mar 31, 2014 at 07:06PM EDT by Brad.

Added Mar 31, 2014 at 11:09AM EDT by Molly Horan.

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2014 California Earthquake refers to a series of seismic activities that occurred in the state’s northern and southern regions, including the city of Los Angeles, beginning in early March 2014. Similar to the online reception of the 2011 Virginia earthquake, the event quickly led to humorous reactions from the local residents mockingly exaggerating its minimal impact.

Notable Developments

KTLA Newscast

On March 17th, 2014, at 6:25 AM (PST), Los Angeles news station KTLA’s morning news program was suddenly interrupted during live broadcast by the earthquake, prompting one of the news anchors Chris Schauble to yell “earthquake” in urgency before ducking under the desk for cover with his co-anchor Megan Henderson. That same morning, the dramatic newscast clip was uploaded via KTLA’s YouTube Channel.[3] Within two weeks, the video has gained over 14.2 million views. The quake, which lasted less than a minute, interrupted a number of other LA-based morning news programs.

The video was covered the same day by many sites including Gawker[5], Buzzfeed[6], and E!Online.[7] Also that day Schauble made a still of his surprised expression from the clip his Twitter avatar.[4] Many on Twitter used the still to comment on the March 28th aftershock.

On Twitter

In the two weeks following the first earthquake, the hashtag #LAEarthquake[11] was tweeted over 12,000 times, with many California residents expressing disinterest in the quake and others weighing in that the seismic activity hadn’t been very strong.

Many celebrities living in California tweeted about their own experiences with the earthquake and the aftershock on March 17th and March 28th. Several websites posted collection of these celebrity reaction tweets including The Huffington Post[8], E! Online[9], and The LA Times.[10]

News Media Coverage

The initial earthquake and aftershock was covered by many major news sites including The Huffington Post[12], The Washington Post[13], and ABC News.[14] While most covered the facts including magnitude and coverage of the minimal damage, others discussed the recent relative lack of earthquakes in the area prior and the possibility more could be to come.

Notable Examples

Soon, several image macros and “destruction photos” began to emerge in mocking commemoration of the earthquake, including photographs of various consumer goods fallen from their store shelves and other scenes of negligible damages and minor inconveniences that resulted from the event.

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