Drop, cover and hold on: Utah's largest earthquake drill set for Tuesday
Some 900,000 Utahns are preparing to take part in the state's largest earthquake drill Tuesday morning, dubbed the Great Shake Out.
Schools, businesses, hospitals and government agencies are participating in the mock quake, slated to begin at 10:15 a.m., on a voluntary basis.
The drill is aimed to increase preparedness for a serious threat. According to the Utah Seismic Safety Commission, 90 percent of the state's population lives in earthquake zones. A seismic belt about 100 miles wide extends north to south along the Wasatch Front and through Richfield to Cedar City and St. George, according to the commission.
If a magnitude 7.5 quake were to occur in the Salt Lake City area, the commission predicts there would be some 7,600 deaths and $18 billion in physical damage, loss of jobs and economic activity.
The Great Shake Out website details strategies to stay safe during and after an earthquake. As a general guideline, the Shake Out encourages people who are indoors to drop to the ground, take cover by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on to it until the shaking stops.
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Impact from a major quake
Injuries and deaths from a major quake
The number of injuries and deaths would depend on the time of day of the earthquake. The Utah Division of Homeland Security ran the scenario of a 7.0 temblor hitting Salt Lake County at a time when everyone is home, everyone is at work, and when people are commuting.
Level 1: scrapes and bruises
Level 2: hospitalization with non-life-threatening injuries
Level 3: life-threatening injuries
Level 4: fatalities
Level 1: 31,430
Level 2: 9,360
Level 3: 1,480
Level 4: 2,920
Level 1: 22,830
Level 2: 7,060
Level 3: 1,200
Level 4: 2,290
Level 1: 23,520
Level 2: 7,790
Level 3: 2,290
Level 4: 2,450