Correspondent at Sarbaz.kz provides essential guidelines for behavior during an earthquake.
During the initial tremors, during the earthquake itself, and afterward, it is important to follow these basic rules:
- If it is a minor earthquake and you are at home, stay indoors. Turn off the gas, water, and electricity. In the case of a stronger earthquake (with tremors measuring five or above on the Richter scale), if you are on the second floor or higher, do not leave the building. Stand in a safe place near an interior wall, in a corner, in a doorway, next to a load-bearing column, or lie down in a bathtub. Take cover under a bed or table - they will protect you from falling objects and debris. Keep away from windows and heavy furniture. Do not use elevators.
- If you are outdoors, move to an open area away from buildings and power lines. Do not approach severed electrical wires. Do not run alongside buildings or enter them.
- If you are in a vehicle, stay inside into an open area until the shaking stops.
- After an earthquake, do not approach visibly damaged buildings or enter them. Be prepared for aftershocks, as the first two to three hours after the initial earthquake are considered the most dangerous, although aftershocks can occur days, weeks, or even months later. The longer the time since the initial earthquake, the lower the probability of further tremors.
- If there were errors in the building's design, it may collapse during tremors. Therefore, plan in advance for actions in the event of a building collapse and familiarise all members of your family with it. Explain the procedures to follow in the event of a sudden collapse and the rules for providing first aid.
- Keep a fully stocked medical kit and a fire extinguisher in an accessible place. Store toxic chemicals, flammable liquids, and other hazardous substances in a secure, well-isolated location. Avoid unnecessary storage of gas cylinders in your apartment. Know the location of electrical circuit breakers, main gas valves, and water shut-off valves for emergency disconnection of electricity, gas, and water.
- Do not clutter building corridors, staircases, emergency exits, or fire exits with unrelated objects. Keep important documents, money, a pocket flashlight, and spare batteries in a convenient place.
- If you find yourself trapped under debris, take deep breaths, avoid panicking, focus on what is most important, and strive to survive at all costs. Have faith that help will come. Administer first aid to yourself if possible. Try to adapt to the situation and assess your surroundings, looking for possible exits. Attempt to determine your location and listen for other people nearby. Make your presence known by calling out.