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News

3.3 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Riverside County

earthquake-twitter-map.jpg
The experimental Twitter Earthquake Detector Map
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No, you're not crazy, there was an earthquake, albeit minor, in Riverside County. The 3.3 magnitude quake struck at 11:54 p.m., 5 miles west of Beaumont, according to the United States Geological Survey.

About the above map: Withs some funding from the federal stimulus package, the USGS is exploring the world's fastest (and unofficial) newswire, Twitter.

"Social Internet technologies are providing the general public with anecdotal earthquake hazard information before scientific information has been published from authoritative sources," explains a press release. "People local to an event are able to publish information via these technologies within seconds of their occurrence. In contrast, depending on the location of the earthquake, scientific alerts can take between 2 to 20 minutes. By adopting and embracing these new technologies, the USGS potentially can augment its earthquake response products and the delivery of hazard information."

Within 60 seconds of an event, the program is able to geo-code the location and publish it on Google Earth, as seen in the above image. You can follow the program on Twitter at @USGSted.