• Melissa Kartini

Crucial Things to Do During an Earthquake

Updated: Jan 28, 2019

As Malaysians, we are pretty much blessed when it comes to our geographical location. It is something that many of us take for granted, but whether we like it or not, times are changing. Though our biggest concern when it comes to earthquakes is the threat of massive quakes in Sumatra (as the tremors from these quakes can sometimes be felt in Peninsula Malaysia), there is also a risk that an earthquake could happen in Peninsula Malaysia itself.

This is due to the fact that ancient fault lines around our capital city seem to have been reactivated by the active tectonic plate boundaries around the region.

While the risk of a quake happening in Kuala Lumpur itself is small, there is no denying that we should equip ourselves with life-saving knowledge on how to deal with earthquakes. Here are a couple for your perusal, and they all depend on where you are when the quake happens:

If you are indoors

  • Stay inside.

  • Stay calm, move fast. You will increase your chances of survival if you keep your cool.

  • Turn off any gas items. Fire is another major hazard during earthquakes. To make things easier for yourself, make sure to turn them off after every use. This is so you won't have to do it during an earthquake.

  • Drop under any solid, heavy furniture such as a table, desk or bed.

  • Hold onto the object you are under so that you can remain covered.

  • If you can't find anything to hide under, flatten yourself, and cover your head and neck. Another option is to crouch into a corner and again, cover your head and neck.

  • Stay away from windows, shelves, and anything that could fall such as lighting fixtures and furniture.

  • Do not use the elevators.

If you are outdoors

  • Stay outside.

  • Stay away from buildings, street lights and power lines.

If you are in a vehicle

  • Stop as quickly and as safely as you can and stay in the vehicle.

  • Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, power lines, bridges or anything that could fall on you.

  • Make sure you pull over at a safe place where you won't block the road. This is so you won't block the way for emergency and rescue vehicles.

  • Stay inside.

  • Listen to your car radio for emergency instructions from safety officials.

  • Do not get out of your car if there are power lines across it. Wait for rescue.

  • If you are in a bus, take cover in a protected place. If you can't, crouch and protect your head from falling debris.

If you are under debris

  • Do not light a match. This could be dangerous if there's a gas leak.

  • Do not move around or kick up dust.

  • Keep your mouth covered with a handkerchief or some kind of cloth. This is to prevent you from breathing in too much dust.

  • Tap on a pipe so rescuers can find you. Use a whistle if you can. Only shout as a last resort to again prevent the inhalation of dangerous amounts of dust.

Stay safe, everyone!

Written by Crunch's Melissa Kartini

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