Lowcountry schools take part in earthquake drills

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Every year South Carolina experiences 15 to 20 measurable tremors. Earthquakes give little warning and could strike today, tomorrow or next week. That is why the SC Emergency Management Division and the National Weather Service wants everyone to be ready, just in case.

Some school children were encouraged to take part in an earthquake drill Tuesday. Earthquakes pose a real threat in the Lowcountry and being prepared and ready is key just in case one strikes.

At 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, the National Weather Service initiated an earthquake drill where participants were encouraged to drop, cover and hold for one minute.

State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais encouraged all schools to participate in the drill.

Several schools in the Lowcountry have been deemed seismically unsafe and pose a threat if an earthquake is to hit again and those schools are currently being rebuilt.

"We're in an earthquake zone, a lot of people don't realize we are in the same zone as L.A. The difference is we don't have them as frequently like them so we had a structural engineering of our schools and it shows significant problems," said Bill Lewis, chief operating officer for Capital Programs.

One of the five schools is Buist Academy where the renovation process has already started. Other schools that need to be renovated or rebuilt include Meminger, James Simmons, Charleston Progressive and Sullivan's Island Elementary schools.

The purpose of Tuesday's drill was to give participants a chance to plan and evacuate if an earthquake was to ever hit again.

Construction on the five schools is expected to be complete by 2013.

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