Nearly 150K Montana students practice earthquake drill - KBZK.com | Continuous News | Bozeman, Montana

Nearly 150K Montana students practice earthquake drill

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Kids all over Montana had to "Drop, Cover and Hold" today as a part of the annual Great Montana Shake Out.  The program encourages students and organizations to learn and practice what to do in case of an earthquake. 

Students at Gallatin Gateway School have been taking part in the shake out drill for several years.  According to Gateway Superintendent Travis Anderson, it is a great chance to teach students how to deal with a potential disaster that is a distinct possibility.  “It puts us in very much of a seismic hot zone, so it's a reality here.”

Montana has seen three large earthquakes over the course of the last 90 years. The Treasure State is considered one of the more active states in the Union as the state has at least 45 known potentially active faults. 

The 1925 Clarkston Valley earthquake jolted the area on June 27th with a 6.6 magnitude quake that did significant damage in Three Forks, Logan and Manhattan.  Another major series of tremors hit Helena in 1935 on October 3rd.  Ranging from 5.8 to 6.3, the earthquakes killed 2 people and packed a big enough punch to collapse one wing of the newly completed Helena High School.

One of the more famous earthquakes to rock the region was the 7.3 magnitude Hebgen Lake earthquake in 1959.  That earthquake was the 14th largest earthquake to strike the lower 48, and essentially reshaped much of the Madison River Canyon, creating what is now known as Quake Lake.

With significant earthquakes a distinct possibility, drills like the one held on Wednesday is a great way to remind students of what to do.  “An earthquake can happen at any time,” Anderson explained.  “It is important for students to know safe ways to keep themselves safe in an earthquake no matter where they are in the school.”

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