Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort -- Although South Carolina is usually not known for earthquakes, service members aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort participated in the Great SouthEast ShakeOut earthquake drill, Oct. 16.
The Great SouthEast ShakeOut is a multi-state earthquake drill spanning much of the southeast. ShakeOut activities for South Carolina are supported by the South Carolina Emergency Management Division.
“The Great SouthEast ShakeOut is a great opportunity for everyone on base to quickly practice and refresh the potentially life-saving steps that should be taken during an earthquake,” said Joseph Parisi, the Natural Disaster Response Team facilitator for South Carolina. “During the ShakeOut participants practice immediately dropping to the ground, taking cover under a sturdy table or desk while protecting their head and neck, and holding on until the shaking stops, or as we like to say drop, cover, and hold on.”
South Carolina records 10 to 30 earthquakes annually with approximately two to five strong enough to be felt each year, according to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division. These earthquakes tend to be less than a 3.0 on the Richter Magnitude Scale and cause little damage. Although strong earthquakes are rare, South Carolina has experienced strong earthquakes in the past.
On August 31, 1886 Charleston, South Carolina, experienced the most damaging earthquake in the eastern United States. The initial shock lasted nearly one minute. The earthquake had a magnitude of 7.3 and was felt over 2.5 million square miles, from Cuba to New York, and Bermuda to the Mississippi River. Structural damage extended several hundred miles to cities in Alabama, Ohio, and Kentucky.
“While earthquake hazards are not extremely high here, most of the Southeast is prone to earthquakes,” Parisi said. “You could be anywhere when an earthquake strikes, and by preparing for the next big earthquake now, we can better our chances of survival and the ability to carry on with our mission.”
For more information visit www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/earthquake.