Bluffton School Participates in "Southeast Shakeout" - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Bluffton School Participates in "Southeast Shakeout"

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BLUFFTON, S.C. -

If you don't think earthquakes are a possibility in our area -- think again.

The 1886 Great Charleston Earthquake was the most destructive and lethal earthquake to strike east of the Mississippi.

This map shows you the level of damage by county. You can see that Beaufort County is shaded orange -- that means there were fatalities. Most buildings and reservoirs suffered damage too.

And even though it struck so long ago, one-point-eight million people participated in the "Southeast Shakeout" earthquake drill today. That includes students at red cedar elementary in the lowcountry.

"We just had an announcement that there could be problems coming, so everyone get under your tables!"

Students at Red Cedar Elementary took part in the drill Thursday. Beaufort County emergency managers say they're trying to stay ahead of any problems.

"Our goal is to make children aware of the dangers of earthquakes, and the type of reaction that we want them to take during that event, whether it's at school, out in the open, or back at home," said Chuck Runyon, of Beaufort County EMS. 

The reaction officials are looking for is for these kids to take cover and await further instructions.

"The best thing to do is to get under a desk or a table if it's available. If they are caught out in the hallway, rather than get under a doorway, which is what we don't recommend, hug the wall, crouch down into a kneeling position, and put your arms over your head."

But are these drills really necessary in South Carolina? According to officials, history says yes.

"Two November, 1989, we had an earthquake in the Bluffton area that registered at two-point-eight on the Richter scale, and we had upwards of 70 residents complaining of the earthquake itself, of residents hearing the rumbling or feeling the vibration itself."

So they say it's best to be prepared.

From as far north as Delaware and Washington D.C., all the way through South Carolina and Georgia, communities took part in the shakeout.

More than 250,000 participated in the Palmetto State and more than 43,000 in Georgia.

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