Statewide Earthquake Drills

By WEEK Reporter

November 15, 2011 Updated Nov 16, 2011 at 11:05 AM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.--More than 100 Illinois state and local agencies are in the middle of a three-day exercise to test responses for dealing with a catastrophic earthquake in the New Madrid fault in southern Illinois.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is coordinating the exercise, which began Tuesday morning and will go through Thursday afternoon.

While Illinois' emergency responders have dealt with floods, tornadoes and severe snowstorms, IEMA Director Jonathon Monken says a major earthquake will present its own special problems.

"The breadth of the destruction is different. There is destruction in a two hundred mile radius. Bridges into Kentucky and Missouri are down. There's very little communications available," Monken.

This year's Earthquake drill was delayed from mid-May ---because emergency responders were dealing with a real emergency--severe flooding in parts of the state.

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