As a native Californian, I know that earthquakes can wreak serious damage. In only a matter of seconds, a powerful quake can turn homes into rubble, level an entire neighborhood, and bring devastating destruction to thousands. There have been many times when a quake was no laughing matter. The 5.6 magnitude earthquake that struck Saturday morning just a few miles outside of Pawnee, Oklahoma, however, was not one of those times. With mild damage to infrastructure and just one injury reported, the internet wasted no time in turning the Pawnee earthquake into a meme.
A 5.6 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter roughly 9 miles from Pawnee, Oklahoma, was felt throughout Oklahoma as well as in parts of Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Arkansas, Texas, and Nebraska when it struck a few minutes after 7 a.m. local time on Saturday. Mother Nature, it seems, doesn't quite understand the concept of sleeping in. With tremors felt in at least seven states, Saturday's earthquake quickly started trending on Twitter as sleepy Midwesterners (and some Southerners) turned to humor to help them cope with their early morning wake-up call. When news broke the quake had been centered just outside the town of Pawnee, which is also the name of the fictional the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation is set in, the meme floodgates opened.
It was inevitable that the Pawnee earthquake would spark a slew of Parks and Recreation jokes. I mean, who (outside of Oklahoma) knew that Pawnee really did exist, albeit in another state? In solidarity with those in Pawnee, Oklahoma, cleaning up the damage that Saturday's earthquake did cause — three homes were reportedly damaged along with a few buildings in the town's historical downtown — the internet offered the following Parks and Rec-related memes.
Due to the fact the quake's epicenter was located at a depth of roughly 3 miles, tremors were felt as far as Nebraska, making the Pawnee earthquake an eye-opening experience for many all across the Midwest, but quite literally for those still in bed when the quake struck.
Residents throughout the affected states poked fun at the extent of the damage caused by the earthquake under the hashtag WeWillRebuild.
The best meme to come from the Pawnee earthquake? Easily, this gem.