A 7.5 Richter earthquake jolted the Hindu Kush region on 26 October 2015, causing widespread destruction and mounting casualties. After the deadly earthquake which jolted Nepal on April 25, the most fatal earthquake of 2015; another high intensity earthquake in the Himalayan region has forced natives into fear and deliberation. More than ten thousand earthquakes have been already recorded in 2015 out of which fifteen earthquakes were of a magnitude above 7 Richter scale. With deadly tremors and equally dangerous aftershocks rattling the Himalayan belt more frequently than ever; we need to be prepared.
Before an earthquake.
If you live in an earthquake prone area, primarily identify safe places within the house, office or school. Locate areas beneath sturdy furniture or against an interior wall, and cover yourself, preventing injuries. Prepare a first aid kit and store critical supplies, backup medications, flashlights and a portable radio among other supplies. Be sure to store enough water for each family member.
During an earthquake.
If you are inside a building structure, during an earthquake, the best practice is to drop down, get under a sturdy table or other furniture and avoid movement. Cover your head and neck because every unsecured object around you could topple, fall, or become airborne, potentially causing serious injury. If you are in the bed, curl up and hold on, covering your head with a pillow. Stay away from windows and doorways and remain inside until shaking stops. Do not try to run outside or around during a severe shaking, because windows, facades and architectural details are often the first parts of the building to collapse.If you are outside, find a clear spot in open and stay away from buildings, power lines, trees or streetlights. If you are in a vehicle, pull over to a clear location and stop, but keep the engine on and stay inside until shaking stops.
Trapped under debris.
In the worst situation, if you are trapped under debris, try to remain calm and do not panic. Stay stationary as unnecessary movement can cause the debris to move, making it extremely hazardous. Try not to breathe in dust and cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing, if possible. If you want rescuers to locate you, tap on a pipe or wall. Avoid shouting as it may cause inhaling dangerous amount of dust.
We are living in a transforming world. Things are changing and beyond human control, so it is imperative that we are cautious and prepared.
About the author
Girish Choudhary, an environmental engineer with 6+ years of industry experience, Girish specialises in Sustainability, Green Buildings, Environmental Impact Assessment. He is actively involved with Planning & Consulting, Coordination, Site Auditing, EHS Management and Control. Some of his key clients include Accenture, DS Group and GYS Vision.