Earthquake 'Shakeout' Reminder Of Indiana's Disaster Potential

Tremors Could Devastate State

For most Indiana residents, earthquakes are far down the list of potential calamities, but they can and do happen here, and experts predict they could be devastating to the state.

Indiana is two weeks away from taking part in the largest earthquake drill ever held in the Midwest.

Nearly 400,000 Indiana residents are expected to participate in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut that will take place on the morning of April 19.

Indiana has the most citizens involved out of the 10 other states included in the drill. More than 1.7 million total participants are expected to take part in the exercise that is aimed at helping citizens protect themselves during an earthquake.

The ShakeOut is coordinated by the Central US Earthquake Consortium, FEMA and the U.S. Geological Survey, among other partners.

Fault lines that affect Indiana include the Wabash Valley Fault System, which runs through the western part of the state, and the better-known New Madrid Seismic Zone, which is southwest of the state.

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck along the Wabash zone in April 2008 centered about 40 miles northwest of Evansville.

That quake was felt in the Indianapolis area, startling several people as it hit in the early-morning hours.

The drill will encourage Hoosiers to take simple steps to protect themselves if an earthquake strikes -- drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy desk or table and hold on until the shaking stops.

Scientists estimate that there is a high probability of a damaging earthquake in the central U.S. within the next 50 years.

Other states involved in the drill include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee.

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