School children duck for cover under a table during the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill as they visit the Discovery Cube Science Center in Santa Ana, California, the United States, Oct. 18, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)
More than 10 million residents of California Thursday morning took part in the annual ShakeOut, the world's largest earthquake drill.
This year's drill was set at 10:18 a.m. local time, when millions of participants practiced to keep safe amid a major temblor.
Video clips and pictures posted online showed that when the drill time came, office workers dropped to the ground, took cover under a desk, table or other sturdy surface and held on for 60 seconds, as if a major earthquake were occurring, while students were guided by teachers, moving from their classrooms to a clear and open area.
In conjunction with the drill, an earthquake-preparedness fair was held at Los Angeles City Hall, featuring exhibits, experts and the "Big Shaker" earthquake simulator.
ShakeOut organizers noted on its official website that many Californians had not experienced a damaging earthquake, such as young people or people who have recently moved to the state, but San Andreas fault lying in Southern California could generate a large-scale earthquakes.
"Numerous earthquake faults crisscross Southern California and no one within the area resides more than 10 miles from an active fault," an article seen on www.ShakeOut.org read, "In addition to damage caused directly by ground shaking and related ground failure, other hazards such as fires can easily start during and shortly after an earthquake."
The ShakeOut began in California in 2008 before spread to other states and countries, including Japan, New Zealand and Canada. More than 59 million people registered to take part in the 10th ShakeOut drill this year.
Up to 3,000 people died and over 80 percent of the city of San Francisco was destroyed in the 7.9-magnitude earthquake in 1906, the worst and deadliest in the history of the United States.