LOS ANGELES (AP) - Hoping to survive a real earthquake, many Californians and people in some earthquake prone areas of the world will drop, cover and hold on during an annual preparedness drill.
The Great ShakeOut was first held in California in 2008 and participation has since spread around the globe.
Some 24 million people, including 9 ½ million in California, have signed up to duck under their desks and cover their heads at 10:17 a.m. local time today.
Participating countries include Japan, Canada, Italy and Guam.
Powerful quakes have rattled the world in recent weeks, including a magnitude-7.1 jolt that killed over 100 people in the Philippines and damaged historic churches.
Drill organizers say the focus this year is on fires that may be sparked after a quake because of ruptured utility lines.