News about the 5.8 magnitude earthquakethat shook Washington, D.C. on Tuesday and was felt in cities throughout the East coast exploded online, spreading rapidly via social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.Phrases and hashtags related to the earthquake, such as “5.8” and “#earthquake” quickly dominated Twitter’s trending topics list.
Mashable notes, “Tweets began pouring in from D.C. nearly 30 seconds before we felt the quake at our headquarters in New York City and well before any reports about the quake emerged from the media.” As HuffPostLA reports, many West coast users also took to Twitter to tease their East coast counterparts. “Really all this excitement over a 5.8 quake??? Come on East Coast, we have those for breakfast out here!!!!” wrote one user.
We’ve compiled some key statistics that illustrate the spike in social media usage immediately following the earthquake. Visit our live blog for more information on the earthquake.