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Utah Tests Earthquake Preparedness With Drill

Published On: Apr 17 2012 05:07:28 AM CDT   Updated On: Apr 17 2012 05:08:57 AM CDT

Emergency responders across Utah held the largest earthquake drill in state history on Tuesday with mass evacuations, mock patients at hospitals and the Utah National Guard deploying 400 soldiers.

Even Gov. Gary Herbert played a role, announcing the mock disaster.

He said emergency officials tested their communications and found some coordination problems.

The drill scenario called for a 7-magnitude quake, which occurs on the Wasatch Front about every 350 years.

The National Guard staffed four command posts and was ready to move medical supplies or begin search-and-rescue operations.

The Salt Lake City suburb of Draper tested an emergency notification system that alerts residents of a natural disaster based on GPS information from their mobile device.

The Utah Seismic Safety Commission says 90 percent of the state's population lives in earthquake zones.