California gets ready for earthquake drill

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. Geological Survey says it's preparing for the largest earthquake drill in the nation's history -- the Great Southern California ShakeOut.

The 10 a.m. PST on Nov. 13 the drill will simulate what might occur during and after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the U.S. West Coast. The exercise is based on a USGS scenario created with emergency responders, power, water and transportation departments, social scientists, engineers and others.


"We wanted to understand not just what this would physically do, but what this would do to our society," said USGS earthquake researcher Lucy Jones. "By putting that picture together, we've created something that's a lot more useful because it matters to people."

In the scenario, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake -- about the same magnitude as earthquakes that struck California in 1857 and 1906 -- occurs on the San Andreas Fault, affecting much of Southern California.

"A big San Andreas earthquake is inevitable, and it's something every Southern Californian should be ready for," said Jones. She said the earthquake in the drill scenario would lead to 1,800 deaths and more than $200 billion in losses.


The USGS said nearly five million people have already registered to take part in the ShakeOut drill.

More information is available at

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