ST. LOUIS (AP) — It was nearly 200 years ago that the first in a series of massive earthquakes shook Missouri and much of the nation. Now, several Missouri school districts are preparing for a drill to prepare for the next big one.

State officials say that nearly 100 districts and individual schools have registered for Missouri’s second statewide earthquake drill at 10:15 a.m. on Feb. 7. Meanwhile, more than 146,000 residents are also registered for the drill, called the “Great Central U.S. ShakeOut.”

State Emergency Management Agency director Paul Parmenter says the goal is to educate people and students about what to do if a major earthquake strikes.

Three of the largest quakes in U.S. history were centered at New Madrid, Mo., in 1811 and 1812. The first was on Dec. 16, 1811.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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