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The Washington Emergency Management Division says more than 860,000 people were registered to drop, cover and hold during Thursday’s earthquake drill at 10:17 a.m.

That compares with 710,000 in last year’s Great Washington ShakeOut.

A large earthquake is considered inevitable at some point in the Northwest’s future because of shifting plates in the earth’s crust. A sudden release would cause an earthquake that could cause significant property damage and loss of life. A large quake also is likely to generate a tsunami, which threatens coastal areas.

The drill is an opportunity for people to practice dropping to the ground, taking cover and holding on until the shaking stops.

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Schools, businesses, agencies and families registered for the drill on the Shakeout website.

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