GMail is officially down; Twitter is in full panic mode. Google offered some small hope of salvation:

Meanwhile according to the Google Apps status dashboard, GMail wrestled with more confined downtime issues yesterday and sent out an alert this morning saying it expected to resolve that issue "in the near future."

Business Insider has a roundup of reactions from media people on Twitter.

Though the horror seems fresh every time, this has happened repeatedly in the past. And we survived! Some recent examples:

  • Feb. 09: GMail goes down for 2.5 hours due to buggy caching code related to what was supposed to be "routine maintenance" in a European data center. Frustrated user create Google "fail whale" cartoons, based on Twitter iconography.
  • Aug, 08: GMail goes down for roughly two hours, blames "temporary outage in our contacts system that was preventing Gmail from loading properly."
  • Aug. 08. GMail down for 15 hours for some customers, including paying Apps customers.

UPDATE, 5:23 p.m. Eastern: GMail appears to be back, at least for several of us and many commenters.

(Image: by Yoav Shapira)