LOS ANGELES – California will star Thursday in a mock earthquake disaster drill — considered the largest in U.S. history — with some 5 million people pledging to do everything from ducking for cover to rescuing faux victims.
The exercise centers on a hypothetical magnitude-7.8 earthquake that unzips the southern San Andreas Fault — an event that scientists call the feared "Big One." Such a quake would cause 1,800 deaths and $200 billion in damage, researchers estimate.
The state's previous simulated quake catastrophes were smaller in scale with the leading actors mainly first responders and cities testing their emergency preparedness. Thursday's drill is more of an ensemble cast with governments, schools, hospitals, churches, businesses and residents promising to do their part.
"We're trying to make it a communal event," said U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones, who spent the past year organizing the drill.
California is the most seismically active state in the Lower 48. Earlier this year, the USGS calculated the state faces a 46 percent chance of being hit by a 7.5 or larger quake in the next 30 years with the epicenter likely inI find the timing of this to be very eerie. This reminds me of the Pentagon running simulated drills of a .commerical plane striking the building a day before September 11. In the past I have shown that computer models can forecast disasters. Well these same models are saying that some where on earth we are due for a major natural disaster. Most likely a earth quake. And it will probably happen in the second week of December, right around December 10th. Both Web bot and time zero are saying that something big and bad is coming soon. Does the US Government think it is coming too? Is that the reason why they are running this drill? Maybe, but I hope I am wrong.