It will be a week ago Sunday when a 4.7 magnitude earthquake rocked parts of southern Missouri. Since then, more than 15-thousand people have signed up for April’s statewide earthquake drill. Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade talk with Earthquake Program Manager Steve Besemer:
Press Release from the Missouri Department of Public Safety
JEFFERSON CITY – More than 100 Missouri school districts and individual schools, with a total of more than 90,000 students and staff, have already registered to take part in Missouri’s first-ever statewide earthquake drill. The drill, called the “Great Central U.S. ShakeOut,” will be held in Missouri and 10 other U.S. states on Thursday, April 28 at 10:15 a.m.
“More than 147,000 Missourians are now scheduled to participate in this first of its kind preparedness event in the Midwest,” said State Emergency Management Agency Director Paul Parmenter. “Just as it’s important to teach our children what to do in the event of a tornado, I think this is valuable training for what to do if an earthquake strikes.”
Just on Monday, Feb. 28, the last day of Missouri Earthquake Awareness Month, institutions and organizations representing more than 15,000 people registered to take part in the ShakeOut. To find out if your school district of organization is registered go to http://www.shakeout.org/centralus/state_participants.php?state=MO
During the ShakeOut, Missourians will “Drop, Cover and Hold On” for 60 seconds. Experts says this is the best way to protect yourself during an earthquake, since in the U.S. the primary threat for most people in an earthquake would be falling debris and toppling objects, like book cases and heavy electronics, not structural collapse.
At 10:15 a.m. on April 28, Missourians and people around the Midwest will:
· DROP to the ground
· Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
· HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops
Earthquake preparedness information is available on the State Emergency Management Agency’s Earthquake Preparedness page. Go to www.sema.dps.mo.gov and click on “Missouri Earthquake Preparedness 2011” in the blue box, or go directly to http://sema.dps.mo.gov/earthquake_preparedness_2011. The site includes a three minute video of Missouri fourth graders taking part in a ShakeOut drill.
Anyone, including individual families, can register for the ShakeOut at http://www.shakeout.org/centralus/index.html.
The New Madrid Seismic Zone, centered in southeast Missouri, is the nation’s most active earthquake zone east of the Rocky Mountains. At least three of the largest earthquakes in the continental United States occurred in the region from1811-12. The largest of the quakes was centered in New Madrid and occurred on Feb. 7, 1812. The earthquakes altered the flow of the Mississippi River, turned rich farmland into fields of sand and destroyed countless structures. People on the East Coast of the United States felt shaking and church bells reportedly rang as far away as New England.
The great New Madrid earthquakes were followed by aftershocks that continued for more than two years. More than 2,000 shocks were felt at least 180 miles away from their epicenters.