Almost 300,000 in NC to participate in world’s largest earthquake drill Thursday

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Millions of people across the world — including almost 300,000 North Carolinians — will take part in the world’s largest earthquake drill on Thursday.

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Here in North Carolina and throughout the southeast, the event is known as the Great Southeast Shakeout. More than 1.5 million people across the area are expected to participate in the event, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS).

While North Carolina is not known as a place that experiences a lot of earthquakes, the state has reported 23 “damaging earthquakes” since 1735, NCDPS said in a release. The state does experience multiple smaller earthquakes every year, including a 2.7 magnitude quake near Morganton back in August that resulted in more than 1,100 reports of shaking.

North Carolina’s most recent big quake happened in August 2020 near Sparta in Alleghany County. The 5.1 magnitude earthquake, and multiple aftershocks, led to more than 575 reports of damage in the area, according to NCDPS.

This year is also the 10th anniversary of the August 2011 quake in Virginia that is considered to be the most widely felt earthquake in the United States. People across North Carolina and the east coast felt the earthquake.

If you’d like to register to participate in today’s event, you can click here. Even if you haven’t registered, you can still practice the “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” drill:

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.

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