Home Local News National earthquake drill on Thursday
Issued : Wednesday, October 17, 2012 06:05 PM
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National earthquake drill on Thursday

By CB Online Staff

More than 500,000 islanders are slated to take part in “drop, cover, and hold-on” drills Thursday as part of a nationwide earthquake preparedness effort being organized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) dubbed the “Great Shakeout.”

FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate says earthquakes occur all year long in the United States, with many taking place in locations people wouldn’t expect. FEMA wants people to take a minute out of their schedule to practice the “drop, cover, and hold-on drill,” and to practice what they would do during an actual earthquake.

FEMA hopes to have more than 13 million people participate in the drill, which will be held at 10:18 a.m., local time, regardless of the time zone where someone resides. More information on the drill and tips for seniors and those with disabilities can be found at http://www.ready.gov/earthquakes.

The drill on the island is being coordinated by the Puerto Rico Seismic Network with support from the State Emergency Management Agency, the National Weather Service, the Radio Broadcasters Association and the emergency alert system.

The drill will be carried out in nearly 1,500 public schools and public and private facilities.

The Caribbean region is one of the most seismically active regions in the world with a huge potential for death and destruction as evidenced by the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

Earthquakes and undersea landslides pose the biggest tsunami threat to Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, where warning periods can be shorter because of the relatively narrower expanses of sea than in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Temblors are not uncommon in Puerto Rico, with a moderate 5.4 earthquake rattling the San Juan area and much of the island on Christmas Eve 2010. A more powerful 5.7 temblor shook the island in May 2011. Neither prompted a tsunami warning.

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