Earthquakes are fairly common in India, but no matter how frequent they are, the natural calamity will always be daunting. Earthquakes can strike anywhere, during any time of the day. Earthquakes are caused due to the shifting of tectonic plates below the Earth’s surface.
The Bureau of Indian Standards has classified regions in India into 4 seismic zones namely zone II, III, IV and V. The seismic zone intensity are classified as zone V- very sever intensity zone, zone IV- severe intensity zone, zone III- moderate intensity zone, and zone II- low intensity zone.
According to the National Geographic, here are tips on what to do and how to be safe during an Earthquake.
During the Earthquake
- Follow the golden rule- Drop, cover and hold on. During an earthquake, drop down, take cover under a table or desk and hold on to your shelter until the ground stops shaking.
- If you are inside, stay inside. You are less likely to be injured if you stay where you are.
- Stay away from furniture, bookshelves or hangings objects that can fall on you.
- If you are in the kitchen, quickly turn off the stove.
- If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, while protecting your head with a pillow.
- You should move away from windows and walls.
- Do not use elevators or lifts as the electricity may come and go.
- If you’re outside, move away from buildings, electricity wires, trees, gas lines, subways, flyovers and sinkholes. Once you’re in the open, drop down and stay put until the shaking stops.
- If you’re in a car, park it in a safe place and stay in the car until the shaking subsides.
After the Earthquake
- Be prepared for aftershocks. They may come hours, days or sometimes even weeks after the main earthquake.
- Stay away from building and concrete structures as aftershocks can cause damage to the building and falling debris could injure you.
- Stay away from coasts as earthquakes can lead to perilous tsunamis and flooding.
- Avoid going near flames or using lighters or matches in damaged buildings as earthquakes can damage gas lines.
- Plan and find out information before driving somewhere as roads and routes can be damaged due to the quake.
Though the destruction is contingent to the intensity of the earthquake, if you diligently follow these tips, you can get away with minimal or no damage to you or your loved ones.
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