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‘Drop, cover, and hold on’: ‘Great Alaska ShakeOut’ drill teaches earthquake safety skills

KETCHIKAN (KDN) — At 10:17 a.m. on Thursday, the annual “Great Alaska ShakeOut” earthquake safety drill was held to provide Alaskans the chance to practice the “drop, cover, and hold on” safety method.

In Ketchikan, Houghtaling Elementary School teachers led their students through the drill, which lasted about two minutes.

Karen Manabat, a first grade teacher at Houghtaling, told the Daily News that her students did “pretty good.” Before the morning of the drill, Manabat’s class practiced how to drop to their knees, cover their head and neck, and crawl underneath a table or desk.  

There have been multiple high-magnitude earthquakes to hit Alaska in recent years.

According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, “Alaska is the most seismically active region in the U.S., with more than 10,000 earthquakes occurring each and every year.”

A magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit north of Anchorage on Nov. 30, causing damage to roadways and buildings. The earthquake caused an estimated 170 aftershocks of magnitude 3.0 or above, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

In 2013, Southeast Alaska experienced a 7.5 magnitude earthquake that hit 71 miles west southwest of Craig, according to information from the Alaska Earthquake Center. The quake was felt on Prince of Wales Island and in Ketchikan and Hyder.

In late October 2012, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake shook the Queen Charlotte Islands, hitting approximately 170 miles away from Ketchikan, reported the Daily News. Ketchikan residents described feeling both the initial earthquake and accompanying aftershocks.