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Is Riverside prepared for the “Big One?”

By: Evan Ismail, Senior Staff Writer and Jaya Vengadesan, Staff Writer

UCR students, faculty and staff participated in the Great California Shakeout on Tuesday, Oct. 19 alongside 10.3 million others across California. The drill, organized by the Earthquake Country Alliance, is intended to teach people how to react properly during an earthquake.

According to the Great California Shakeout, the drill was inaugurated in 2008 in order to train Californians for a potential 7.8 magnitude earthquake along the San Andreas fault, from which, according to the website, the Inland Empire will experience the strongest shaking in Southern California. UCR lies only 13 miles from the San Andreas fault and five miles from the San Jacinto Fault (whose last major rupture occurred in 1987 at a 6.2-6.6 magnitude), which are capable of an 8.3 and 7.0 magnitude earthquake, respectively.

Tuesday’s drill began at 10:19 a.m. as a two-minute-long message broadcasted over KUCR FM and bell tower speakers and an additional notification came via text message alerts. The campus community was instructed to drop, cover and hold on during the two-minute drill.

In order to better understand how UCR and the city of Riverside is prepared in the event of a major earthquake (or, the “Big One”), the Highlander reached out to campus and city officials.

Abhijit Ghosh, assistant professor of Earth Sciences, worked with the communications department and emergency services to coordinate Tuesday’s event. Not only was Ghosh responsible for the preparatory mass emails sent out to the student body, but he also coordinated the text message alerts as well as organized an informational ShakeOut booth at the bell tower.

Ghosh expressed concerns about statewide preparation, saying... Read more

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