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Local, state leaders look to see earthquake preparedness

Reported by: Jerry Brown
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Updated: 10/16/2012 12:15 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- Nevada ranks third in the nation for seismic activity, trailing only California and Alaska.

Local leaders are trying to make sure the region is ready if a major earthquake hits our valley.

Most will go through life without ever feeling the earth shake under their feet. But many people who have experienced an earthquake say it can be as terrifying, as it is unexpected.

“I have been through two,” Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said. “Oscar and I, we have a fault at Rancho and Charleston, and I know it’s there.”

Goodman and other community leaders convened in City Council chambers to announce a major statewide earthquake preparedness drill taking place this week; The Great Nevada Shakeout.

UNR seismologist Dr. Graham Kent will monitor the drill. He has a message for "it could never happen here" naysayers.

“The statistical odds of a magnitude 6 in Wells, Nevada, which we had four-and-a-half years ago, is just the same as an earthquake here in Las Vegas of the same magnitude,” Kent said.

And how would a Magnitude 6 earthquake effect Las Vegas?

“It would potentially cause damages into the billions of dollars,” he said.

“We're doing pretty well on the forecasting end of things where we put probabilities over time spans, but predicting say it’s going to happen on such and such a date … we're not doing so well.”

Goodman says Thursday's drill will be the first of a series of biannual statewide drills that will ask some essential questions

The Clark County School District and local fire departments are among the agencies taking part in The Great Nevada Shakeout.


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