What to do before, during and after the earthquake


Earthquake is a natural disaster which comes unannounced. Moreover, a large part of India is prone to earthquake. So,e must learn the essential steps to be taken before, during and after an earthquake. Read this article to know more.

Earthquake is a natural phenomenon. But it occurs without any warning causing destruction of properties and loss of life. The cities have now become concrete jungles without much open space. So, the urban people have become more vulnerable to earthquake. In this article we are going to discuss what should common people do during and after the earthquake.

What is an earthquake?

An earthquake is a natural phenomenon which occurs without any warning. It involves violent shaking of the ground and everything over it. It results from the release of accumulated stress of the moving crustal plates of the earth. Earthquakes are tectonic in origin. The occurrence of an earthquake in a densely populated area may cause high level of casualties and injuries and extensive damage to property, especially in urban areas.



The earthquake risk in India

According to a recent study conducted by National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM-a body under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India), approximately 59% of the total area of India is prone to earthquakes. India is divided into 4 seismic zones.
Zone 5 - Very High Risk Area: 11 % of land area in India is considered as high risk. List of states that fall in this zone are : Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, Central Kashmir, Central Himalayas, Northern Bihar, Rann of Kutch, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Zone 4 - High Risk Zone constituting18 % of land area of the country: Some parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Gujarat, Bihar, West Bengal, parts of Maharashtra, and the whole of Sikkim lie in this zone.
Zone 3 - Moderate Risk Zone constituting 30 % of land area: Some parts of Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and the whole of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Goa, and Kerala fall in the risk zone.
Zone 2 - Low risk Zone: It constitutes 41 % of land area of the country.

Major Earthquakes in India

The major earthquakes witnessed in India during last 125 years are inddicated below:
Indian Ocean Earthquake, 2004: It occurred on 26th December, 2004 at 8.50 a.m. The magnitude of the earthquake was 9.3 Richter. The epicenter of the earthquake was at the west coast of Indonesia. This earthquake caused Tsunami and massive destruction and damage of property. More than 2,85,000 people died all over the South Asia.
Kashmir Earthquake, 2005: It occurred on 8th October, 2005 at 8.50 a.m. The magnitude of the earthquake was 7.6 Richter. The epicentre of the earthquake was at Muzaffarabad in Pak-occupied Kashmir. This earthquake caused massive destruction and damage of property. Around 1,30,000 people died due to this earthquake. The damage was mainly at Pak-occupied Kashmir but tremors were felt in Indian Kashmir also.
Bihar Earthquake, 1934: It occurred on 15th January, 1934 at 2.13 p.m. The magnitude of the earthquake was 8.7 Richter. The epicentre of the earthquake was at the south of Mt. Everest. This earthquake caused widespread destruction and damage of property. Around 30,000 people died due to this earthquake.
Gujarat Earthquake, 2001: It occurred on 26th January, 2001 at 8.50 a.m. The magnitude of the earthquake was 7.7 Richter. The epicentre of the earthquake was Kutch, Gujarat. This earthquake caused widespread destruction and damage of property. Around 20,000 people died due to this earthquake. Condition returned to normalcy after more than six months.
Kangra Earthquake, 1905: Another deadliest earthquake that India faced took place in the Kangra region of Himachal Pradesh. More than 100,000 homes were destroyed and scores of animals, trees, and the natural vegetation that the region was completed destroyed. This is the second worst earthquake from the pre-independence era after the Bihar earthquake of 1934.
Latur Earthquake, 1993: It occurred on 30th September, 1993 at 10.25 p.m. The magnitude of the earthquake was 6.4 Richter. The epicentre of the earthquake was Killari near Latur, Maharashtra. This earthquake caused widespread destruction and damage of property. Around 10,000 people died due to this earthquake. Condition returned to normalcy after more than six months.
Assam Earthquake, 1950: It occurred on 15th August, 1950 at 7.39 p.m. The magnitude of the earthquake was 8.6 Richter. The epicentre of the earthquake was Rima in Tibet. This earthquake caused widespread destruction and damage of property. More than 30,000 people died due to this earthquake. The aftereffects of this earthquake caused severe flood in the entire state.
Assam Earthquake, 1897: It occurred on 12th June, 1897 at 5.11 p.m. The magnitude of the earthquake was 8.1 Richter. The epicentre of the earthquake was not located. This earthquake caused widespread destruction and damage of property. More than 10,000 people died due to this earthquake. Besides Assam, Arunachal Pradesh Burma and Tibet also got affected.
Uttarkashi Earthquake, 1991: It occurred on 20th October, 1991 at 5.11 p.m. The magnitude of the earthquake was 6.8 Richter. The epicentre of the earthquake was at Garhwal, Uttarakhand. This earthquake caused widespread destruction and damage of property. Lakhs of people became homeless, 1500 villages were completely destroyed. More than 1000 people died due to this earthquake.
Koynanagar Earthquake, 1967: It occurred on 11th December, 1967 at 4.21 a.m. The magnitude of the earthquake was 6.5 Richter. The epicentre of the earthquake was at Koyna, Maharashtra. This earthquake caused widespread destruction and damage of property. Around 200 people died due to this earthquake.

What to do before an earthquake

The following advance steps should be taken in earthquake-prone areas:
  • Repair deep plaster cracks in ceilings and foundations. Get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects.
  • Anchor overhead lighting fixtures to the ceiling.
  • Follow BIS codes relevant to your area for building standards.
  • Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
  • Secure breakable items with latches.
  • Hang heavy items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds.
  • Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are potential fire hazards.
  • Secure water heaters, LPG cylinders etc., by strapping them to the walls or bolting to the floor.
  • Identify safe places indoors and outdoors.
  • Know emergency telephone numbers (such as those of doctors, hospitals, the police, disaster response force, etc.)


What to do during an earthquake

Following steps must be taken during earthquake:-
  • Stay as safe as possible during an earthquake.
  • Be aware that some earthquakes are actually foreshocks and a larger earthquake might occur. Minimize your movements.
  • If you are indoors then drop to the ground; take cover by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and hold on until the shaking stops.
  • Protect yourself by staying under the lintel of an inner door, in the corner of a room, under a table or even under a bed.
  • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall.
  • Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow.
  • Stay inside until the shaking stops.
  • Be aware that the electricity may go out.
  • If you are outdoors, do not move from where you are. However, move away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and electric wires.
  • If you are in open space, stay there until the shaking stops.
  • If you are in a moving vehicle, stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, etc.
  • Proceed very cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps which may be damaged.
  • If you are trapped under debris, then do not light a match. Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing. You should tap on a pipe or wall so that the rescuers can locate you.




What to do after the earthquake

The following should be done after the earthquake:
  • Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Take care of aged and children of your family and of the neighbourhood.
  • If possible, join rescue teams to rescue trapped persons.
  • Take the injured to the hospitals. If possible, donate blood.
  • Co-operate with the authorities. Don't spread rumours.
  • Be careful about loose electrical wires.
  • Remove carcasses and fallen trees/debris in /outside your residence.
  • Report your losses to appropriate authorities truthfully and accurately.


Summing up

As the earthquake comes unannounced, the people of earthquake-prone regions must train themselves for taking necessary steps during the unfortunate event of earthquake. During the earthquake, the priority should be to remain safe. After the quake, we must remain alert and help our neighbours to the best of our ability.


Related Articles

Common steps for fire safety in residential house and commercial complex

A natural or human-caused origin of fire incidents may be devastating especially in populated urban or sub-urban areas. Every occupants of residential houses and commercial complexes should be well aware of the common causes of home fire along with all safety and emergency rescue measures in initial stage of fire to save life and property.

An alert citizen for suspicious

Whenever we see any kind of miss-happening around us or in the news channels or other media sources, planned by any suspicious persons or due to any suspicious items, then we always says that why the police department do not perform their duty properly, why the terrorism increases very rapidly. But ever we think that it is our own responsibility too, to be an alert citizen for suspicious and to do all possible efforts to avoid these miss-happenings. This article explains about all of its aspects.

Some Safety Rules To Be Observed Before Going On A Date

This item dwells on some safety rules to be taken note of before going on a date. Every girl wants to go on dating as also wants not to go. The reasons of this quandary are many. But the main reason of the dilemma is the fear and threat involved. If you are going on dating, take care of some precautions mentioned below in this piece of writing.

Safety Tips for Using Knife and Fire in your Kitchen

This article gives safety tips for using knife and fire in the kitchen. Read to know more about using a high quality knife, boiling water, electricity and pay attention and treatment of burn as a first aid in Kitchen.

Mobile Safety Tips

Mobile Safety Tips,Mobile Waves, how to use mobile safely, cell phone safety tips, what are the mobile phone safety methods

More articles: Dos & Donts Natural Disasters in India Earthquakes in India Safety Tips

Comments

No responses found. Be the first to comment...


  • Do not include your name, "with regards" etc in the comment. Write detailed comment, relevant to the topic.
  • No HTML formatting and links to other web sites are allowed.
  • This is a strictly moderated site. Absolutely no spam allowed.
  • Name:
    Email: