Millions Mobilize for SoCal Earthquake Drill

Students, workers practice ducking and covering in pretend 7.8 temblor
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2008 3:45 PM CST
A makeup artist creates fake wounds as part of the drill.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – An estimated 5 million volunteers and emergency personnel participated in a huge earthquake drill in Southern California today, the Los Angeles Times reports. The “ShakeOut,” as it is known, was designed to raise awareness of the continued need for earthquake preparedness. California will almost certainly get hit with a quake of 6.7 magnitude or higher in the next 30 years, the Orange Country Register adds.

The organizers enlisted volunteers to make the simulation appear as real as possible, and people ducked and found shelter as emergency responders arrived. They hope the verisimilitude will encourage people to prepare for the quake everyone knows is coming, sooner or later. “If it doesn't really change any behavior, then we haven't achieved what we wanted,” one geologist said. (Read more Southern California stories.)