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Largest Earthquake Drill in U.S. History

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A magnitude 7.8 earthquake scenario could play out like this

The Great Southern California ShakeOut was officially announced today where millions of Southern Californians will “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” (register at as thousands of emergency responders statewide take part in the largest-ever earthquake response drill called "Golden Guardian." The hypothetical magnitude 7.8 earthquake will rupture the San Andreas Fault at 10 a.m. on November 13.

"An enormous earthquake is definitely in our future," said Dr. Lucy Jones, Chief Scientist of the U.S. Geological Survey Multi-Hazards Project, who led a team of hundreds of experts that just finished detailing the expected consequences of this hypothetical but plausible earthquake, a study known as the “ShakeOut Scenario”. “ShakeOut is a chance for all of us to practice together what we will do when the earthquake happens, and to get ready now rather than waiting until the earthquake to act.

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“The ShakeOut gives all of us the opportunity to change the outcome," continued Dr. Jones. “We have told you about this earthquake, and today we present what we each can do about it. It will take all of us working together, each doing our part, to improve the outcome so we will have fewer losses in our future.”

Dr. Thomas Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center says the Northridge quake is not suffice experience for a 7.8, which is more than 100 times worse than 1994. "Most of us think we know what an earthquake like this will be like but we do not. Our experience lies with an earthquake like the 1994 Northridge earthquake, a magnitude 6.7 that was much smaller and more localized in effects."

The Great Southern California ShakeOut also includes an international conference on earthquake policy, an earthquake rally created by the Art Center College of Design, and local activities that will be organized by communities and organizations throughout southern California.

Previously on LAist
-- Microquakes Keeping on Hitting SoCal
-- The 'Big One,' Now Scripted