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State holding earthquake preparedness drill

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - State and local emergency officials are holding a drill this week to test their response to a catastrophic earthquake in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency says the drill began Monday morning with a simulated 7.7 magnitude earthquake in the New Madrid Seismic Zone near Memphis. Officials say that an earthquake of that magnitude near Memphis would affect thousands of Tennessee residents and cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

The drill continues through Wednesday, focusing on managing the process of transporting life-saving supplies into the affected area. It also tests emergency communications at state and local levels and tracks the movement of medical supplies from a distribution point to a hospital.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of a series of catastrophic earthquakes that struck New Madrid, Mo.