More than 406,000 Missourians participate in Great Central U.S. ShakeOut earthquake drill
Schools, colleges, businesses and families across state take part in Oct. 17 drill
More than 406,,000 Missourians participated in Thursday's Great Central U.S. ShakeOut
earthquake drill, according to a preliminary tally by organizers of the ten-state earthquake drill.
In all, more than 2.4 million residents of the central U.S. states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois,
Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma and Tennessee took part in the
The drill, which took place simultaneously throughout the region at 10:17 a.m., Oct. 17,
instructed participants to "Drop, Cover, and Hold On” – drop to the floor, cover under a
desk or table, and hold on to it until the shaking stops.
ShakeOut participants included more than 340,000 school children, teachers and staff
throughout Missouri, and more than 14,000 participants at colleges and universities. The
ShakeOut was coordinated by the Central United States Earthquake Consortium
The New Madrid Seismic Zone, centered in southeast Missouri, is the nation's most active
earthquake zone east of the Rocky Mountains. 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 South Carolina.
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.
Even now, more than 200 small quakes a year occur in the region.