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World’s Largest Earthquake Drill to Help Millions Practice in Event of Disaster

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MARVIN RECINOS/AFP/Getty Images

The world's largest earthquake drill will take place on Thursday, with millions set to practice what to do if a massive quake hits — a scenario experts say could likely happen in Southern California in the next several decades.

The "Great Shakeout," an annual earthquake drill that started in Southern California in 2008, will happen on Oct. 19 at 10:19 a.m. local time around the world. Nearly 20 million people will practice what to do if a quake strikes, with more than 10.2 million of them in California, NBC News reported.

"I think we've seen with recent disasters in the past couple of months — these big hurricanes and the Mexico earthquakes in September, and the wildfires that are still happening in California — the need to be prepared is so important," said Jason Ballmann, a spokesman for the Southern California Earthquake Center.

The center collaborated with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and other partners to create the earthquake drill based on a magnitude 7.8 scenario earthquake on the San Andreas fault in Southern California.

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