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Article updated: 8/27/2013 7:00 AM

Illinois readies for earthquake "ShakeOut" drill

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By Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois is joining 36 other states for a nationwide earthquake drill.

The "Drop, Cover and Hold On" event will take place on Oct. 17. The event, part of the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut, aims to raise awareness about earthquake risks and the way people can stay safe when the ground starts shaking.

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Illinois has participated in ShakeOut drills for the past three years. More than 570,000 people in the state registered for a drill that took place in February. To date, 186,000 are registered for the October drill.

The most powerful earthquake to ever occur in the U.S. happened about 200 years ago in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, which reaches into southern Illinois.

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