Facebook feature helps people connect after earthquakes


Rescue workers search the rubble after a 7.8-magnitude quake in Gauyaquil, Ecuador on April 17, 2016.
At least 235 people were killed when a powerful earthquake struck Ecuador, destroying buildings and a bridge and sending terrified residents scrambling from their homes, authorities said Sunday. (Getty Images)

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SAN DIEGO -- Seven years ago this week, San Diego County was rocked by one of the region's strongest earthquakes in decades.

The magnitude 7.2 quake hit Baja California on Easter Sunday in 2010 and killed three people.

The ground shook for almost a minute and was so strong people felt it from San Diego to Las Vegas and Phoenix.

In 2014, Facebook launched a new feature to help connect friends and family after earthquakes and other disasters.

"Something like the Safety Check through Facebook allows people to contact everybody they know quickly and all at once. Being connected on social media, you can reach so many people all at once, whether it be on Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook," FOX 5 digital editor Shelly Wilford said. "It can ease people's minds to know that you're OK after something dangerous has happened in your area. "

Facebook's safety check is automatically activated when enough people in an affected area post about an incident. It takes you to another page to post that you're OK, or you can check on your loved ones.

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