CSUN geology students to promote California earthquake drill

Ron Rokhy

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Californians will take part in an earthquake drill Thursday at 10:20 p.m., and CSUN geology students are hosting an event to promote the cause.

The event, hosted by the Earthquake Country Alliance and taking place at Sierra Quad, will partially focus on the state’s third annual Great Shake Out, a drill meant to increase earthquake preparedness.

“The objective of this event is to raise awareness about earthquake preparation,” said Doug Yule, the professor coordinating the event. “It’s going to be a multi-faceted event, but at its basic level, it’s a giant drill promoting safety.”

The students will inform the campus community by passing out fliers, making presentations and creating art between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Out of the 8.7 million people officially registered to partake in the drill, 3.7 million of them are in the Los Angeles area, according to the California’s Great Shake Out website.  Yule said 50 of them are from CSUN.

While earthquakes are unable to be predicted, scientists have anticipated a large earthquake to hit Southern California in the future, said Denise Hernandez, a freshmen in Yule’s Living with Earthquakes in California class.

“People need to be informed on how to be prepared and what measures they need to take in order to protect themselves,” she said.

Yule and his students plan to educate people on earthquakes so they’ll be able to make their own choices whether to follow safety protocols.

“Preparation is what you can do to minimize the effects of earthquakes,” Yule said. “We plan to get individuals involved, so they’ll have a choice to be prepared or not.”

CSUN’s campus was devastated in 1994 by a 6.7-magnitude earthquake caused by a  previously undiscovered fault line, and Yule said being prepared for these kinds of sudden events is important.

“The scary thing about earthquakes is that they strike without warning, but our campus is uniquely experienced about earthquakes” he said. “We’re better prepared than anywhere else because we’ve been though such a devastating event.”

The 1994 earthquake caused $400 million worth of damage, and no fatalities were reported on campus but two students living in off-campus housing died when the apartment collapsed.