The Five FAQs - Earthquake

What is an earthquake? 

The sudden tremors, shaking or vibration of the earth’s surface is called an earthquake. It results from the release of accumulated stress of the moving lithospheric or crustal plates. 

Why does it occur? 

There are natural factors as well as man made factors. Natural factors include disturbance in the earth’s crust (uppermost layer of the earth) or movement of earth’s plates, volcanic eruption, hitting of a meteor on earth. Man made factors include construction, underground explosion etc.

What precautions can a person take to stay safe from an earthquake? 

Consulting structural engineers and designing the infrastructure of our cities to be as earthquake resistant can help in long term prevention from earthquakes. It is advised that the infrastructure complies with the National Building Codes (NBC). Cracks on walls, ceilings should be repaired and shelves should be fastened securely to walls, placing heavy/large objects on lower shelves.

How can people stay safe during an earthquake? 

Follow the ‘Drop-Cover-Hold’ technique. Drop on your hands and knees, Cover your head and neck with your hand and seek shelter under a table or side up to the interior wall, away from tall objects that might topple. Hold onto the leg of a table or if you’re outside continue to shield your head and neck with your arms.

What should one do after an earthquake has occurred? 

Be careful of aftershocks. One shouldn’t enter damaged buildings, and if stuck in rubble, make sure to protect the nose, mouth and eyes from dust. Make noise by whistling or tapping on a surface to get attention. When outside, one should be careful from hazards like fallen electrical lines, ruptured gas pipes etc.

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