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What to do when an earthquake strikes

News Desk
News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Mon, August 6, 2018 | 01:16 pm
What to do when an earthquake strikes

Earthquakes can cause landslides. If you happen to be on a mountain when an earthquake occurs, move to an open area away from the mountain's slope. (Shutterstock/File)

A magnitude-7 earthquake struck Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) and Bali on Sunday evening, leading to a tsunami warning. At press time, the earthquake has reportedly claimed the lives of 91 people and wounded hundreds.  

However, it is important to stay calm during such an incident. The following are earthquake safety tips according to the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI), as reported by kompas.com.

At home

If the ground starts shaking when you are at home, try to save yourself and family members by hiding under a table. This helps to protect your body from falling objects.

Cover your head with a helmet, a pillow or your hands.

Outdoor

If you are outdoors, protect your head and go to an open area. Stay calm and wait as the first earthquake is frequently followed by aftershocks.

Shopping centers or public places

If you happen to be in a shopping center or any other public place, remain calm. Do not use the elevator during an earthquake or fire. Find the emergency exit or fire escape and go to an open area.

Follow the rescue team's instruction.

Inside a car

If you are a passenger inside a car, keep your seat belt fastened and hold onto a stable object tightly, such as a handle. This helps to keep you still if the car stops suddenly.

Ask the driver to slow down and stop the car, then move to an open area.  

Mountain or beach

Earthquakes can cause landslides. If you happen to be on a mountain when an earthquake occurs, move to an open area away from the slope.

Furthermore, earthquakes can also cause tsunamis. Those who are on the beach during earthquakes are recommended to find higher ground.

Read also: Indonesia quake kills 82, leaves hundreds wounded

After the earthquake

Once you feel the ground has stopped shaking, you can do the following:

1. Those who stay inside the house are recommended to go to an open area once the earthquake stops.

2. Check for injuries and attend to them. If possible, help other people around you.

3. Adults are suggested to turn off gas or stoves to prevent gas leaks.

4. Do not light a fire as a gas leak can cause an explosion.  

Before the earthquake

It is also important to prepare for earthquakes by learning about your surroundings. The following are several tips to prepare yourself for an earthquake:

1. When you are entering a building, it is recommended to find out where the emergency exits are located.

2. When you are inside a building, find a safe location, such as under a strong table, to protect yourself when an earthquake occurs. Make sure it is far from a large mirror, hanging objects, bookshelves or windows.  

3. Earthquakes can happen anytime. It is recommended to make your room as safe as possible by not hanging objects above your bed.

4. Keep Indonesian emergency numbers, such as the police ( 110 ), ambulance (118 and 119), National Search and Rescue ( 115 ) and fire station (113 or 1131). (jes/asw)

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