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A freeway collapsed during the Loma Prieta earthquake in the Bay Area on Oct. 17, 1989

PHOENIX -- More than 100,000 Arizona schoolchildren and teachers will drop, cover and hold on Thursday morning in their classrooms.

At 10:17 a.m. the Great Arizona ShakeOut earthquake preparedness drill begins. Mike Conway with the Arizona Geological Survey said the training in the two-minute drill will last a lifetime.

"If you're traveling to San Diego or moving to Seattle, you're going to need to know what to do because you could encounter an earthquake."

While most people don't associate big quakes with Arizona (neighboring states are sites with big quakes), it's possible for the state to be hit with an earthquake up to magnitude 7.5.

"If California, Utah or Nevada get a big shaker then we're going to feel it here," Conway said.

During an earthquake the greatest immediate danger in most homes and buildings is from flying or falling items -- ceiling tiles and fans, furniture, pictures, lights, mirrors and other items. Lessons learned from the ShakeOut exercise can protect you, your family or students from serious injury.

Arizona joins California, Nevada, Oregon, and 24 other states in hosting ShakeOut events. Worldwide more than 17 million people will engage in ShakeOut.

Jim Cross, Reporter

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