Stay away from buildings, take cover under furniture: How to react in case of an earthquake | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Stay away from buildings, take cover under furniture: How to react in case of an earthquake

Here’s what you should know about staying safe during an earthquake.

india Updated: Jul 08, 2017 10:07 IST
Faizan Haidar
An earthquake of 5.0 magnitude hit Rohtak, Haryana on Friday morning.
An earthquake of 5.0 magnitude hit Rohtak, Haryana on Friday morning.(Representative image/Shutterstock)

Taking cover under furniture, staying way from buildings and moving out in the open can help people when an earthquake strikes, according to the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

A moderate intensity quake of magnitude 5.0 hit Haryana on Friday morning, the tremors of which were felt in Delhi and the national capital territory. The epicentre was in Haryana’s Rohtak, according to the meteorological department.

The national capital falls under Seismic Zone 4, which is considered very sensitive, and people need to be trained in order to remain safe, the agency says.

The disaster relief agency, which conducts training and informs people about what to do in case of an earthquake, says if, inside a house, people must immediately take cover under a bed or table which is strong enough. If furniture is not available, they should use their hand to cover your head and face.

“We are a ‘Specialist Force’ to respond to disasters and we try to train members of the community as they need to respond immediately for the safety. A part of the exercise is to stay away from glass or wall which can fall and damage them,” NDRF director general RK Pachnanda said.

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. People should stay where they are if it is not possible to go out in open. Chances are there will be no electricity but trained NDRF personnel say there is no need to panic.

“People are less likely to have problems in either small emergencies or any disaster situations if they are prepared or adequately sensitised,” said Pachnanda.

Disabled people face unique challenges during every stage of emergency and disaster, and arrangements should be made to ensure that evacuation should be facilitated for them. The family members are the first respondent and they should know how to help the disabled and evacuate them.

“During disasters, children, women, elderly and differently abled are given priority. We have guidelines to follow for disabled in case of an earthquake and we share it with school children so that they can further inform the public,” he added.

While travelling on road, people must move away from tall buildings, trees and or any structure which could fall and hurt. Open spaces are safest if there is no structure nearby. If in a car, bus or Metro, stop as soon as possible. Metro has a system where it stops automatically in case of a disaster and people can use the emergency gates to come out.

People should not park their vehicle on a bridge or flyover as they may collapse.

If trapped under debris, a person should not shout as they may inhale the dust. The disaster response force is equipped with life detectors and they can detect life under debris. However, if possible, the trapped person should cover their mouth with a cloth and try to knock on an iron pipe or structure so that rescuers can hear the sound.

The NDRF is conducting a month-long special school safety awareness campaign in 47 Kendriya Vidyalayas in Delhi and NCR.

“The programme is aimed at capacity building of students and teachers, school preparedness plans and rehearsal of evacuation plans. Apart from normal drills, special emphasis was laid on first aid and victim assistance techniques by means of live demonstrations. NDRF teams provided expert guidance to schools and sensitised more than 49,000 school students and staff during this month-long campaign,” Pachnanda said.

The agency has sensitised over 51 lakh people across the country.