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Public Lecture on Earthquake Preparedness


Public Lecture at UC Riverside Discusses Earthquake Preparedness

Lucile Jones of U.S. Geological Survey talked about science behind Great Southern California ShakeOut, the largest-scale earthquake drill in U.S. history

(October 22, 2008)

Lucile M. Jones is chief scientist of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Multi-Hazards Demonstration Project for Southern California.  Photo credit: USGS.Enlarge

Lucile M. Jones is chief scientist of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Multi-Hazards Demonstration Project for Southern California. Photo credit: USGS.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A free, public lecture on earthquake preparedness kicked off UC Riverside’s participation on Nov. 13 in The Great Southern California ShakeOut, the largest-scale earthquake drill in the history of the country and an opportunity for Southern Californians to prepare for the Big One.

Lucile M. Jones, chief scientist of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Multi-Hazards Demonstration Project for Southern California, gave an hour-long talk titled “The Science Behind the ShakeOut,” at 7 p.m., Oct. 21, in Room 302, UCR Student Commons. The talk was preceded by an informal reception, with refreshments, at 6 p.m.

“The ShakeOut is based on an earthquake scenario, the results of a study to identify the physical, social and economic consequences of a major earthquake on the southern San Andreas fault in Southern California,” Jones said.

Her talk described the science behind the scenario, how more than 300 contributors working from geology, seismology, engineering, sociology, public health and economics have worked together to translate information about the San Andreas fault into impacts of a great earthquake on society.

“Lucy’s talk helped remove some of the mystery and fear that surrounds earthquakes and replaced it with sober understanding,” said David Oglesby, an associate professor of geophysics and an organizer of the Nov. 13 drill at UCR. “Knowledge about earthquakes will have helped attendees better understand why Drop, Cover, and Hold On is the best course of action during an earthquake, and better understand what kinds of preparation and emergency response are necessary.”

Jones, who is leading The Great Southern California ShakeOut, is a member of the California Seismic Safety Commission, and serves on the California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council. The author of more than 80 papers on research seismology, she is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Alquist Award from the California Earthquake Safety Foundation, and Woman of the Year from the Muses of the California Science Museum.

A half-hour-long panel discussion on earthquake preparedness and emergency response followed her presentation. The panelists – representatives of UCR, the City of Riverside and Riverside County – gave short presentations and answered questions from the audience.

The Great Southern California ShakeOut will involve emergency managers, fire departments, police, and governmental and non-governmental organizations from the federal level down to individual households. The exercise, scheduled for 10 a.m. on Nov. 13, will simulate the response to a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the southernmost 300 km of the San Andreas Fault.

“At some point in the future, a large earthquake will hit Southern California, potentially causing thousands of deaths and hundreds of billions of dollars in damage,” Oglesby said. “Southern Californians need to know what to do when the ground starts shaking, and what to do afterwards. The drill will not only prepare us all better for an earthquake, but will also further engage us in the science and mitigation of earthquake effects.”

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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