An earthquake is a sudden and severe shaking of the earth due to tectonic plates’ movement under the earth's surface. So, it can be said that an earthquake is a natural disaster that can cause damage and loss of life to people near the earthquake.
Since many parts of Afghanistan are at risk of earthquakes, all of us, if we are not sufficiently prepared to properly face the earthquake, may suffer severe damage from its consequences. This natural disaster can be minimized by managing and taking some simple measures; in this way, we can effectively protect our health and that of our family members.
Deaths caused by earthquakes mainly occur due to falling debris, breaking glass, falling objects, and moving a lot during an earthquake. Since it is currently impossible to predict the time of an earthquake, the only way to reduce the loss of life and property caused by an earthquake is to follow safety principles.
This article provides general and essential tips to stay safe during an earthquake.
Prepare for an earthquake
Always be prepared for an earthquake and pay attention to the following points to be prepared:
- First, ensure your residential house is built to standard and without defects.
- Keep the contact numbers of essential departments such as police, fire, and ambulance with you.
- Carry earthquake safety instructions with you and know what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.
- Have a family emergency plan, so everyone knows what to do in an earthquake.
- Prepare a health kit and food packages to last you and your family for at least 72 hours. A medical kit including bandages (various sizes), sterile pad, tape or tape, wet wipes or antiseptic solution, cutter/cutter, scissors, disposable gloves, instant cold pack, pain relievers (such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen), Hydrocortisone ointments, thermometer or thermometer, and some other packages are needed.
Essential points during earthquake tremors
- Lie on the floor and hide under a table or bed. This is the safest way to protect yourself from falling objects. If you cannot find a solid object to get under, bend over and cover your head with your hands or place an object like a choker over your head.
- If you are under a table or bed, hold its legs firmly or stand next to a wall to stop the shaking. This will help you maintain your balance and prevent you from falling.
- If you are in bed, cover your head with a pillow or other material. This will protect your head from falling objects. If you have a heavy object on your bed, move it to the bed legs or other suitable place.
- Keep away from objects such as gates, walls, cupboards, and heavy electrical equipment so you do not get injured when they fall.
- If you are outdoors, stay away from houses, buildings, streetlights, and power lines. This will help prevent heavy objects from falling on you. Move to an open area away from walls, buildings, and power lines if possible.
- If you are driving, pull over and stop. Avoid stopping under bridges, overpasses, or power lines. Stay in your car until the shaking stops. Avoid parking near buildings or trees that may fall on your vehicle.
- Remember to stay calm and be prepared for aftershocks. Aftershocks can occur after an earthquake and can be as intense as or more potent than the initial earthquake. If necessary, be ready to get yourself to a safe place again.
- If you are in a high-rise building, follow the instructions provided by the building officials. Tall buildings can shake during an earthquake, so knowing what to do is essential if you’re inside important. Follow instructions given by building management or posted on signs in the building.
Aftershocks after an earthquake or aftershocks
An aftershock is a smaller earthquake that occurs after a larger earthquake, usually in the same area. These aftershocks can be dangerous and cause more damage. Below are some precautions you can take during an aftershock:
- Look around you to see if there are any wounded or not to give first aid to them.
- To prevent fire after the earthquake, try to cut off the electric wire and gas pipe.
- Avoid lighting candles, sulfur, and other types of combustible materials for lighting, because the gas system may be left and not cause a fire.
- Get under a firm table or bed and hold yourself there until the tremors stop.
- Stay away from places with a risk of slipping on the ground, walls, and rocks.
- Avoid tall windows and shelves that may fall.
- If you are outside, avoid buildings, streetlights, and power lines.
- If driving, move to a well-lit area and stay in your vehicle until the aftershocks stop.
During an earthquake, it is very important to keep calm and follow the instructions of the local authorities and its aftershocks. Remember, earthquakes can happen at any time without warning. Being prepared and knowing how to protect yourself and your loved ones is essential.
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