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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Earthquake Safety

BREAKING NEWS:


The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology on Wednesday said the Marikina West Valley fault line, one of the active faults in the country, is ripe for movement because it has not moved for 200 years.

Phivolcs said the possibility of a Magnitude 7.2 earthquake is not far-fetched.

A Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study earlier revealed that 7 out of 17 cities in Metro Manila will suffer the most damage and casualties if a massive earthquake occurs at the West Valley fault.

The 7 cities are Marikina, Quezon, Pasig, Makati, Pateros, Taguig and Muntinlupa


Earthquake Safety

Here are recommendations for surviving an earthquake, with a few additions.

If you are indoors:

* DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
* Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
* Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture, window or anything else that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place (i.e. under a desk or in an inside corner).
* Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, load-bearing doorway. Brace yourself on the side with the hinges to avoid the door swinging at you.
* Stay inside until shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
* Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.
* DO NOT use the elevators, even if they are working. There may be aftershocks.
* If you're in your hotel room, stay there. There are usually aftershocks, and sometimes they may be worse than the original earthquake. Under a sturdy desk or in an inside corner of your room is the safest place to be, even if you're on the 40th floor. If there's a heavy bookcase next to a match-stick desk, don't get under the desk.
* If you are in a restaurant, get under the table.

If outdoors


* Stay there.
* Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
* Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits, and alongside exterior walls.

If in a moving vehicle

* Pull over to the side of the road and stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires. (Guide Note: an earthquake while you're driving feels like there's something wrong with your car. Don't stop in the middle of the freeway if traffic is still moving around you. Slow down and put on your turn signal to get to the side of the road. If everyone else is doing the same thing, it was most likely an earthquake.)
* Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.

If trapped under debris

* Do not light a match.
* Do not move about or kick up dust.
* Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
* Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.

Things to pack that can help you survive an earthquake

* A crank radio or battery operated radio, including MP3 players with radio. They don't take up much room and if the power goes out, you will be able to get current information.
* A small flashlight in case the power goes out.
* Travel snacks like granola bars, beef jerky and trail mix in case you're stuck in one place for a while.
* Water. You can't pack it if you're flying, but keep a couple bottles in your hotel room once you settle in, and in your rental car if you have one.
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