Cell phone networks were jammed throughout the Northeast immediately following Tuesday's earthquake. Many cell phone users had a hard time making or receiving calls for about 20 minutes after the quake had ended
This was due to a extremely high call volume, which wireless networks are not used to handling.
There were no reports of downed cell towers or wires from the earthquake's activity. General advice from cell phone companies is to text or email instead of call.
Major cell phone companies took to Twitter to keep customers informed. Here are the tweets:
@Sprint: To contact loved ones following earthquake, please use text msgs rather than call. Call delays due to temporary mass calling event.
@Sprint: Customers in East may experience intermittent delay making/receiving calls after recent earthquake. This is a temporary mass calling event.
@TMobile: T-Mobile’s network is operational but is experiencing higher call volumes in areas affected by the earthquake. SMS & E-Mail are advised.
@TMobile: T-Mobile’s network is experiencing higher call volumes in all areas affected by the earthquake. We advise customers to use SMS or E-Mail.
@Verizon: Very high call volumes post East Coast quake, but no known network damage at Verizon. As you place calls, you may get temp. busy signals.
Here's the statement from CTIA, The Wireless Association:
“The industry’s infrastructure appears to be intact, but because many wireless consumers are using the networks, we are experiencing higher than normal traffic. In these high volume instances, there can be delays. We encourage people to send text messages and emails to contact their loved ones until volume returns to normal.”