Hundreds of thousands expected to take part in earthquake drill Thursday

RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) – More than 300,000 North Carolinians are expected to take part in the shakeout earthquake drill Thursday.

The state Department of Public Safety says millions of people across the globe, including 250,000 school children in grades K-12, have pledged to participate in “the world’s largest earthquake drill” on Thursday, Oct. 20th.

The DPI says in North Carolina it is known as the Great Southeast Shakeout, and more than 1.5 million people across the Southeast are expected to participate.

Earthquakes are not as common in North Carolina as other natural disasters like hurricanes, but the DPI says our state has still had 23 damaging earthquakes since 1735. Some smaller earthquakes have also been felt so far this year across North Carolina.

WITN is told that on Aug. 9, 2020, the state experienced its strongest earthquake in nearly 100 years.

“The 5.1 magnitude earthquake, along with several aftershocks, resulted in over 575 reports of damage to houses and commercial buildings in Alleghany County and surrounding communities,” the DPI says.

Furthermore, the department says that in August 2011, a Mineral, Virginia earthquake, which is considered the most widely-felt earthquake in the country, was felt in North Carolina.

People are urged to follow these actions should they feel an earthquake:

  • DROP – Get down on the floor when shaking starts before the quake drops you. 
  • COVER – Take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture. If you cannot find something to get under, crouch against an inside wall. Keep your head and neck safe by covering them with your arms. Stay away from windows, hanging objects, mirrors or anything that might fall.
  • HOLD ON – Hold on to a desk, table or piece of furniture. Be ready to move with it during the quake.

People can visit here to register for the drill and find information about how to stay safe.

More information can be found here and those with impaired mobility can visit here.

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