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

(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.

A makeup artist creates fake wounds as part of the drill.
A makeup artist creates fake wounds as part of the drill.   (AP Photo)
The aftermath of July's quake.
The aftermath of July's quake.   (AP Photo)
California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger observes the earthquake drill in Los Angeles.
California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger observes the earthquake drill in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo)
School children practice their drop, cover and hold on technique, as they participate on the Southern California earthquake drill.
School children practice their "drop, cover and hold on" technique, as they participate on the Southern California earthquake drill.   (AP Photo)
Teachers evacuate infants in their cribs as part of the drill.
Teachers evacuate infants in their cribs as part of the drill.   (AP Photo)
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