Earthquakes are among the most lethal natural disasters. Each year, approximately 100 earthquakes of significant magnitude occur. They strike without warning, and many of the earth’s earthquake zones located in densely populated areas. When large earthquakes strike such areas, the consequences can be disastrous, with terrible human losses and untold economic costs. An earthquake is caused the abrupt discharge of compressive stress in the earth’s crust, which causes waves of shaking to emit outward from the seismic waves. When stresses in the crust exceed the strength of the rock, it fractures along lines of weakness, either an old or new responsibility to fix the plane.
The earthquake epicenter is the point on the ground straightforwardly above the focus. Intense vibrations or seismic waves spread out from the initial point of failure (the focus) like ripples on a pond. These waves have caused the ground to tremble and can travel long distances in all directions. The waves can be very large near the focus, which makes them particularly violent. In most cases, you can secure yourself by immediately:
- GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES: Before the earthquake knocks you down, get down on your knees. This position keeps you from falling while still allowing you to move if required.
- COVER YOUR HEAD AND NECK: If possible, place your entire body beneath a sturdy table or desk. If no shelter is available, get down near an interior wall or low-lying furniture that won’t fall on you and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.
- HOLD ON TO YOUR SHELTER (OR YOUR HEAD AND NECK) TILL THE SHAKE IS OVER: Prepare to move your shelter if the shaking causes it to shift.
During an earthquake, you should not move outside or to other rooms. If you stay exactly where you are, you are far less likely to suffer an injury. Consider the following precautions to lower your possibility being injured:
- If possible, break away from glass, hanging objects, bookcases, china cabinets, or other huge furniture that might fall within a few seconds before shaking intensifies. Keep an eye out for falling objects such as bricks from fireplaces and chimneys, light fixtures, wall hangings, high shelves, and cabinets with swinging doors.
- Grab something nearby to protect your head and face from falling debris and broken glass.
- If you find yourself in the kitchen, turn off the stove immediately and seek shelter at the earliest indication of shaking.
- Hold on to your bed and remain there, securing your head with a pillow. If you walk or roll onto the broken glass on the floor, you may sustain injuries.
One does not stand in the path of a door. Under a table, you’re safer. Doorways in modern homes no more powerful compared to any other part of the house. Doorways do not shield you from the most common source of injury, which is dropping or flying objects. The majority of earthquake-related accidents and deaths are caused by objects falling, flying (such as televisions, lamps, glass, or bookcases), or being thrown to the ground.
Drop, cover, and hold on if you’re inside a tall building
- Keep your distance from windows and outside walls.
- Stay inside the structure.
- Lifts should used at your own risk. The power may go out, and the fire sprinklers may activate.
- Stay calm if you’re trapped. Tap on tough or metal elements of the structure to attract a person’s attention.
If you’re outside, stay there
- If you’re inside, stay inside; if you’re outside, go outside.
- Keep a safe distance from structures, power wires, sinkholes, and gasoline and natural gas lines. The biggest risk from falling rocks is just outside doorways and close to building exterior walls.
- Locate an open space free of trees, telephone wires, and buildings. Once you’re out in the open, get low and remain there until the shaking stops.
- The area closest to a building’s exterior walls is the most dangerous. Windows, facades, and building elements are frequently the first components of a building to fail. Keep away from this dangerous area.