LIMA, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Peru held its first-ever national earthquake drill Wednesday in order to reduce casualties in case the country faces a mega-quake similar to the 8.8 magnitude tremor that hit neighboring Chile in February.
The event, started at 10:00 a.m. local time (1500 GMT) with the participation of President Alan Garcia and his cabinet, the government said in a statement.
Luis Palomino, chief of the National Institute of Civil Defense (INDECI), said 29 million Peruvians were asked to be serious, responsible and calm during this drill. Thus "they will know how to act and save others when a real earthquake happens," he said.
Peruvians were told to make their homes and workplaces ready for emergencies by installing emergency exits and shelters as well as equipping them with flashlights, water containers, non-perishable food, first aid kits and other articles necessary to survive an earthquake.