Estimated 82,000 participated in Great Guam Shakeout - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Estimated 82,000 participated in Great Guam Shakeout

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 by Jolene Toves

Guam - Millions of people around the world participate in the Great Shakeout earthquake drill. This year over 82,000 participants on Guam dropped, covered and held on.

Guam has had its share of strong earthquakes as you may recall the earthquake of 1994 which registered 8.1 on the Richter Scale and just last month an earthquake registered at 6.7 so as an island community it is important to know what to do when there is an earthquake. This morning at 10:16 GovGuam agencies, the private sector and our island's school children drilled and learned the importance of practicing for an earthquake students like Agana Heights Elementary fifth grader Devin Okadda.

"It's important to practice the drill so you already know what going to come and you can stay safe by it," he said.

In the event of an earthquake you only have seconds to protect yourself before strong shaking knocks you down or drops something on you, staying safe and being able to react quickly is exactly why events such as the Great Shake Out encourage people to practice often no matter where a participant is whether at home work or school.

Leialoha McDonald said, "We had to duck cover and hold. We went in the middle of the playground."

In seconds over 400 Agana Heights Elementary students dropped to the ground, took cover by getting under a sturdy desk, table and even out to an open space then held on until the "shaking" stopped. In the Great Shake Out drill participants acted as if there was a major earthquake occurring at that very moment and stayed in that position for at least 60 seconds.

Students like fifth grader Mickena Carbullido, who said, "It's important to get to an open space so no debris or the roof can fall on you."

As Okkada, McDonald and Carbullido share practicing what to do in the event of an earthquake will make an actual earthquake less scary because you are prepared. So when it comes to an earthquake remember these three easy steps drop, cover and hold and when the earthquake is finished get to an open space in case there are aftershocks so you can still remain safe. 
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