What is the Great Southern California ShakeOut?

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Episode Number: 137

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Location Taken: US

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Welcome to CoreFacts, where we're always short on time and big on science. I'm Jessica Robertson. Today's question is...

What is the Great Southern California ShakeOut?

It is an earthquake drill based on a potential magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the southern San Andreas Fault. At 10 a.m. on November 13, millions of southern Californians will drop to the ground, take cover under a table or desk, and hold on. It's not a matter of if an earthquake of this size will happen-but when. And it is possible that it will happen in our lifetime.

In summary, The ShakeOut Scenario estimates this earthquake will cause some 2,000 deaths, 50,000 injuries, $200 billion in damage and other losses, and severe, long-lasting disruption. The report has regional implications and is a dramatic call to action for preparedness. The Great Southern California ShakeOut is on track to being the largest earthquake drill in United States history.

Nearly 5 million people have signed-up to participate in the drill and you can too at www.shakeout.org. A copy of the full technical report, The ShakeOut Scenario, is available online at http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1150. A non-technical summary narrative of the Scenario is online at http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1324/.

And now you know. Join us again every week for a new CoreFact. For other CoreFacts or for CoreCast, our in depth science podcast, go to www.usgs.gov/podcasts. If you'd like to have questions featured on our show, give us an email at corefacts@usgs.gov or a phone call at 703-648-5600. Remember, long distance fees do apply.

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