Earthquake humor: Laughing as the world trembles

Aug 23, 2011 by

So, within less than a half-hour after today’s 5.8 magnitude earthquake, centered in Richmond, Va., struck the East Coast, the wise-cracking began. It helped that most people were shaken, not stirred. My favorite was this photo someone linked to on Facebook, titled “DC Earthquake devastation”:

With the  message: “Thanks to all of you for your kind words of support, as we look to recover from the devastation of today’s quake!”


Speaking of droll, Alan Patterson, on Facebook, should earn the award for the quickest, cleverest earthquake-related political commentary:

“Obama wanted a 3.4 but Republicans wanted a 5.8, so Obama compromised and it was a 5.8.”


Michael Pushkin of 600 LBS of SIN!, the band of the moment in Charleston, West Virginia, offered his Facebook followers advice on the appropriate way to dress for an earthquake from a veteran:

“I’ve been in 2 bigger quakes in LA. We aren’t responding to this correctly. What we are supposed to do is run outside in our underwear.”


RainbowPrideWV’s Facebook page asked a question only the Republican presidential field could answer. Paging Michelle Bachman:

“How long before someone blames gays for the East Coast earthquake?”

A comentator in the thread that follows quickly takes up the challenge – “Not long,” she says – linking to a site on and a post by a strange-looking fellow named Abe, who writes:

“As you’ve learned by now, God was forced to smash the East Coast of America because we’ve allowed a gay-state welcoming Muslim in the White House.  Gays are always to blame for the worst of wrath and weather:  just like what they caused to fall upon Sodom and Gomorraha.”

(Upon further study, though, one wonders if Abe is a put-on, who is punking Christwire. As evidence this post, “Satin Uses Breath Attack to Blow Taylor Swift’s Dress Up, Reveal Her Bum Area.” Viewer Alert! Don’t click on link if you will be shocked by a glimpse of Taylor Swift’s bum area!)


And while it’s not quite earthquake-y humor, there is something amusing about how Jessica Wintz learned something was going down. She is seen in the above Charleston Gazette video I compiled ten minutes after the quake trembled downtown Charleston.

Working alone in a 5th floor office, how did Wintz know a quake was rattling her city? The bobblehead doll on her desk.

“It started shaking his head pretty quickly.”

Then what did she do?

In perhaps a sign that younger generations may encounter pitfalls in their ‘Check What Other People Online Are Saying First Before Anything Else!’ life strategy, what did Wintz do when she felt her office – in her own words – “kind of going sideways”?

She checked on Twitter, of course.

“I know this sounds really geeky, but I checked Twitter to see what was going on.”

And Twitter updates “were coming through as a flurry,” she said. An earthquake was rattling much of the East Coast and as far inland as Charleston, W.Va., she learned.

And that’s when she headed for the street.

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  1. Winter Ross

    We had a 5.3 in southern Colorado around midnight! We love the lawn chair joke and have been passing it around. Of course we’re all ready in Crestone for the end of the world and cheer on every storm coming our way. Yea, Gaia! Bring it on.

  2. I was on the sixth floor of Smith Hall in H Town when the quake came. This is what I heard one art school freshman say to another while standing in the middle of the hallway:

    “Man, I think the elevator is broken!”

    Faith in humanity = gone.