Major Quake Hoax Shakes Up Twitter, Facebook

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Scientists agree an earthquake early warning system is close to being a possibility, but everyone agrees the messages posted on Twitter and Facebook about a major California quake happening some time over the next few days is bullshit.

“Fake California 'Earthquake Warning' Currently Scaring Idiots on Twitter” is how Gawker put it.
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LAist: “Fake Quake Warning Rattles Twitter Users.”

WireUpdate: “Fake California 'Earthquake Warning' Creates Confusion, Panic on Twitter and Facebook.”

Here's what all the holler is about:

“80 HOUR MAJOR EARTHQUAKE WARNING; 6.0 to 7.0 earthquake likely in S California in the next 80 hrs.”

The thing is, seismologists and other academics, while saying some kind of early warning system is close, we are not there yet. And when we are there, it will likely only provide tips to quakes minutes in advance, not hours. USA Today has the scoop.

The fake earthquake warning was widespread enough that it prompted another warning, from California Emergency Management
Agency Secretary Matt Bettenhausen. “Although the broad scientific community has been working
relentlessly to give us better information about earthquakes and their
behavior, being able to predict when earthquakes will strike is not
something they can do at this point.”

YouCan'tPredictEarthquakes.com is more succinct:

“WARNING: You are stupid.”

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