Oct 19, 2017: Millions around the world Drop, Cover, and Hold On! during earthquake drill
WORLD - An expected 18 million people in 70-plus countries will Drop, Cover, and Hold On! during the now-annual Great ShakeOut drill that teaches citizens how to protect themselves during an earthquake.
They will follow a script that details the magnitude of the earthquake, its type and the hour at which it hits.
The movement started in 2008 as the Great Southern California ShakeOut, which was billed as the largest earthquake drill in history. Working to a script that detailed a 7.8 magnitude earthquake along the state’s notorious San Andreas Fault at 10 am, millions of Californians dropped to the ground, huddled under tables and held on, the recommended action when shaking begins. A real earthquake of such magnitude could kill 1,800 people and injure 50,000, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which led the 300-plus experts who devised the scenario. An alliance of earthquake professionals, emergency personnel and business and government leaders organized the drill.
In its report on the 2008 Shakeout, CNN noted that in Japan, one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries, residents hold a yearly earthquake drill on the anniversary of the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake, which killed more than 100,000 people. USGS scientists recently determined that nearly half of Americans are exposed to potentially damaging earthquakes based on where they work and live, according to the network.