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Manteca taking part in ‘Great California Shakeout’
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Manteca’s drill coordinators for today’s earthquake drill in Manteca, Fire Inspector Lantz Rey and Battalion Chief David Marques study a map in preparation, - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

The “Great California Shakeout” earthquake drill takes place at 10:18 a.m. today with first responders headed to the Manteca Senior Center where the drill has them dealing with quake damage with the building collapsing.

“Don’t be alarmed, it’s all part of the drill,” Battalion Chief David Marques cautioned Wednesday morning. “Police officers and fire engines may be seen by residents responding with several simulated incidents occurring throughout the city.”.

On duty firefighters will also be part of the event but ready to respond immediately to medical or fire calls. 

Marques serves as the city’s emergency operations coordinator. He will oversee the entire incident including the operations center where the city’s department heads will gather around a large island table with a massive city map where they can scan the needs at multiple disaster sites and see that the first responders are dispatched to the affected areas of the city.

Millions of Californians will take part in the 10th annual shakeout drill by practicing “drop, cover and hold on,” when the earth starts to shake.  

“This simple drill will save lives the next time California is hit by a powerful earthquake,” noted California Earthquake Authority (CEA) CEO Glenn Pomeroy in a press release.  “When the ground shakes under an older house not properly retrofitted, the house can act as if a rug has been pulled out from under it, Houses built prior to 1980 often topple completely off their foundations in an earthquake and may not be livable for a couple of years – if they can be repaired at all.”

CEA is a non-profit provider of residential earthquake insurance in California. It insures more than a million homes and has lowered rates by over 50 percent since it was established in the wake of the 1994 Northridge earthquake. They now offer a wide range of coverage and deductible options.

Many Californians live within 30 miles of an active fault.  Scientists say there is a 99 percent chance of a magnitude 6.7 earthquake striking the state within the next 30 years.  

To contact Glenn Kahl, email