Largest Earthquake Drill: world record set in California (VIDEO)
LOS ANGELES, CA, USA -- The "Great ShakeOut," an annual earthquake drill that started in Southern California, took place on October 19, 2017 at 10:19 a.m. local time around the world; about 21 million people practiced what to do if a quake strikes, with more than 10.2 million of them in California, setting the world record for the Largest Earthquake Drill, according to the World Record Academy.
Photo: Drop! Cover! HOLD ON! Know what to do during an earthquake Photo: American Red Cross (enlarge photo)
About 21 million people practiced what to do if a quake strikes, with more than 10.2 million of them in California — which experts say is likely to experience a massive quake in the next several decades.
A 2014 study led by the USGS found that by the 2043, the probability of Southern California's experiencing one or more magnitude-6.7 or larger earthquakes was 72 percent, the NBC News reports.
The drill was created by the Southern California Earthquake Center in collaboration with the USGS and other partners in 2008 based on a magnitude-7.8 scenario earthquake on the San Andreas fault in Southern California. Other states and countries have since joined in on the drill, which takes place in schools, colleges, federal and local agencies, and private businesses.
Participants take at least a minute to practice their earthquake survival skills. But the Southern California Earthquake Center encourages them to rehearse for even longer.
The Great ShakeOut teaches participants to "drop, cover, and hold on" — meaning get on the ground, cover your head with one arm and hold onto a stable object like a desk or sturdy table, if one is nearby.