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Great ShakeOut: 20 million people participate in worldwide earthquake drill

"To react quickly you must practice often," say drill organizers.

By Matt Bradwell
Great ShakeOut: 20 million people participate in worldwide earthquake drill
Students take cover under desks at the Carnahan High School of the Future, during an earthquake drill in St. Louis. UPI/Bill Greenblatt | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Over 20 million people across the globe participated in the government-recommended Great ShakeOut, a worldwide earthquake drill aimed at spreading readiness in the global population.

At 10:16 a.m. participants "dropped, covered and held on," instantly seeking shelter under the nearest table or desk.

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"Drop to the ground, take Cover under a table or desk, and Hold On to it as if a major earthquake were happening (stay down for at least 60 seconds)."

Unlike a fire drill, where calm and order are prioritized, the Great ShakeOut is an exercise in instinct enhancement. "To react quickly you must practice often. You may only have seconds to protect yourself in an earthquake, before strong shaking knocks you down -- or drops something on you. Practicing helps you be ready to respond."

California had the largest number of registered participants, with 10.32 million people practicing for natural disaster.

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