Great Southeast Shake OutRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Nearly 1.1 million Virginians are set to participate in a multi-state earthquake drill. Virginia emergency officials say the “Great Southeast Shakeout” is set for Thursday morning and will invoke what has become the mantra of earthquake response. The action is called “drop, cover and hold on.” That means drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on until the shaking stops. Schools, business, government agencies and individuals are expected to join in the drill. Virginia joined the drill following the Aug. 23, 2011, powerful earthquake that rocked the East Coast and was centered in Mineral. More than 1 million Virginians participated in the drill last year.


WASHINGTON (AP) _ The earthquake-damaged Washington National Cathedral is the setting for a presentation on preparedness as part of a national earthquake drill. Experts from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are among the scheduled speakers Thursday at the cathedral. The event is associated with the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill scheduled for 10:16 a.m. local time. This is the fourth annual ShakeOut drill. Anyone, anywhere can participate by dropping to the ground and taking cover under a table or desk. The drill is sponsored by a consortium of government agencies and the University of Southern California. The cathedral sustained more than $20 million worth of damage to its pinnacles, buttresses and ceilings from a magnitude 5.8 earthquake in August 2011.