LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WSPA) — At 10:19 a.m. Thursday, more than 300,000 South Carolinians participated in the regional Great ShakeOut Drill.

This exercise aimed to educate individuals on how to react during a strong earthquake. South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) Director Kim Stenson emphasized the importance of the “Drop-Cover-Hold On”. In the event of an earthquake, it’s crucial to drop to the ground, take cover, protect your head and neck, and hold on to your shelter until the shaking subsides.

Stenson said preparing for preparing for earthquakes involves more than participating in drills. He said make sure to secure your home and belongings, review your insurance policies and create a personal emergency plan.

So far in 2023, South Carolina has recorded 14 low-magnitude earthquakes this year. The Kershaw County area, in particular, has seen a swarm of very weak earthquakes since late 2021. State Geologist Scott Howard with the state Department of Natural Resources revealed that an identifiable fault structure in the area might be the cause, although why these swarms occur remains a mystery at this time.

“The structure is common throughout the Eastern Piedmont fault system…there’s a potential for some of these things to go off occasionally,” Howard said.

South Carolina’s seismic history includes a significant earthquake in 1886 when a powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck the Charleston area. If an earthquake of the same magnitude occurred today, it would be devastating for the state officials said.

For more information on earthquakes in South Carolina and how you can prepare click or tap here.