RICHMOND, VA. (AP) - Nearly 600,000 Virginia residents are expected to participate in a multistate earthquake drill Thursday in which millions of people across the country and elsewhere are expected to take part.
It's dubbed the "Great ShakeOut." Thursday morning, schoolchildren, workers and first responders across the West and Southeast will practice dropping to the ground, covering their heads and holding on to something sturdy. Experts say the technique helps to minimize injuries in an actual quake.
Gov. Bob McDonnell says many people didn't know about earthquake safety when a magnitude-5.8 quake hit Louisa County on Aug. 23, 2011. The governor is encouraging all Virginians to participate in the Great SouthEast ShakeOut and learn about earthquake safety.
The drill is scheduled for 10:18 a.m. Thursday. Some 14 million will participate, up from 9 ½ million from last year. Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia are joining in for the first time a year after a magnitude-5.8 hit that was felt along the East Coast.
Italy, Puerto Rico, Guam and British Columbia also signed up for the exercise, now in its fourth year.
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