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OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The Washington Emergency Management Division says more than 870,000 people registered to drop, cover and hold for Thursday s earthquake drill.

At 10:17 a.m., students, workers and families practiced dropping to the ground, taking cover and holding on.

West Woodland Elementary in Seattle used the drill to practice its emergency plan, with students meeting in designated spots on the playground.

The emergency division says the participation beat the 710,000 registered for 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.

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