Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take part in an earthquake drill on Thursday

RALEIGH, NC (WITN) – More than 300,000 North Carolina residents are expected to participate in the earthquake drill on Thursday.

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

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 aren’t as common in North Carolina as other natural disasters like hurricanes, but the DPI says our state has still experienced 23 destructive earthquakes since 1735. Some smaller earthquakes have also been felt so far this year across North Carolina.

WITN learns that on August 9, 2020, the state experienced its strongest earthquake in nearly 100 years.

“The 5.1 magnitude earthquake, along with multiple aftershocks, resulted in more than 575 reports of damage to homes and commercial buildings in Alleghany County and surrounding communities,” the DPI said.

Additionally, the department says that in August 2011, a Mineral, Virginia earthquake, considered the most felt earthquake in the country, was felt in North Carolina.

People are advised to follow these actions if they feel an earthquake:

  • DROP – Drop down to the ground when the shaking begins before the quake knocks you down.
  • COVER – Take cover under a desk, table or other sturdy piece of furniture. If you can’t find something to get under, crouch against an inside wall. Protect your head and neck by covering them with your arms. Stay away from windows, hanging objects, mirrors or anything that could fall.
  • STAND – Hold on to a desk, table or piece of furniture. Be prepared to move with it during the earthquake.

People can visit here to register for exercise and find information on how to stay safe.

More information can be found here and people with reduced mobility can visit here.

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