What to do after an earthquake
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What to do after an earthquake

It is good to be in the know of how best to recover after a quake has struck your area.

india Updated: Mar 06, 2003 17:15 IST

An earthquake will rarely last for more than a few seconds. The collateral damage may be life-long for the victims. So it is best to be in the know of how best to recover after a quake has struck your area.

Look around for injured people. As far as possible, do not move a seriously injured person unless they are in immediate danger of further injuries.

Do a safety check, looking out for the following dangers:
Fire or fire hazards. This is very probable in collapsed buildings.
Gas leaks. Shut off the main gas valve if you think gas is leaking.
Damaged electrical wiring. Shut off power at the control box.
Be careful when you open doors or windows. There may be objects behind doors that could fall.
Check the telephone. Make sure each phone is on its receiver. Telephones that are off the hook tie up the telephone network unnecessarily.

Among your priorities should be to keep away potentially harmful materials and/or medicines which may have spilled.

Earthquakes near water bodies, especially near the sea coast could cause giant destructive waves to come inland for quite a distance. Move to higher ground as soon as you are able, and stay there until the authorities issue an "all clear."

Earthquakes more often than not have aftershocks. Though they are smaller than the main earthquake, some may be large enough to cause additional damage to weakened buildings.

Keep streets clear for emergency vehicles. Cooperate with public safety officials.

First Published: Mar 05, 2003 15:46 IST