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Frequent tremors in J&K: No need for anxiety, just follow these DO’s and DONT’s

Ziraat Times Team

Srinagar, Aug 27: With another earthquake jolting Jammu and Kashmir this morning, the number of tremors that have struck the region over the last few days has reached 12.

According to the National Centre for Sciesmology, the latest tremor was of magnitude 2.9 and occured at a depth of 10 km near the town of Bhaderwah.

Mercifully, all tremors having happened so far this week have been of low intensity, with no loss or damage.

While it is an established fact that certain parts of J&K, including Kashmir valley, fall in the active seismic zone 5, there are no technical tools or science available to determine when exactly a big earthquake could happen.

Certain news reports have quoted geological experts of J&K  cautioning that this spate of low intensity tremors could be an indication of a bigger tremor, however, again there is no way to predict if that was really the case and when.

In this situstion, better awareness and preparation could be helpful in addressing public anxiety over the matter. There is no need for panic.

Ziraat Times here reproduces some of the best practices about what should we do in the event of an earthquake to protect yourself, minimise loss of life and injuries.

In most situations, you can protect yourself if you immediately:

  • DROP down onto your hands and knees before the earthquake knocks you down. This position protects you from falling but allows you to still move if necessary.
  • COVER your head and neck (and your entire body if possible) underneath a sturdy table or desk. If there is no shelter nearby, get down near an interior wall or next to low-lying furniture that won’t fall on you, and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.
  • HOLD ON to your shelter (or to your head and neck) until the shaking stops. Be prepared to move with your shelter if the shaking shifts it around.

DO NOT stand in a doorway. You are safer under a table. In modern houses, doorways are no stronger than any other part of the house. Doorways do not protect you from the most likely source of injury − falling or flying objects. Most earthquake-related injuries and deaths are caused by falling or flying objects (such as TVs, lamps, glass, or bookcases), or by being knocked to the ground.

If you are outside, stay outside.

  • Move away from buildings, utility wires, sinkholes, and fuel and gas lines. The greatest danger from falling debris is just outside doorways and close to outer walls of buildings.
  • Go to an open area away from trees, telephone poles, and buildings. Once in the open, get down low and stay there until the shaking stops.
  • The area near the outside walls of a building is the most dangerous place to be. Windows, facades, and architectural details are often the first parts of the building to collapse. Stay away from this danger zone.

If you are in a moving vehicle, stop as quickly and safely as possible.

  • Move your car to the shoulder or curb, away from utility poles, overhead wires, and under- or overpasses.
  • Stay in the car and set the parking brake. A car may jiggle violently on its springs, but it is a good place to stay until the shaking stops.
  • Turn on the radio for emergency broadcast information.
  • If a power line falls on the car, stay inside until a trained person removes the wire.
  • When it is safe to begin driving again, watch for hazards created by the earthquake, such as breaks in the pavement, downed utility poles and wires, rising water levels, fallen overpasses, or collapsed bridges.

If you are in a high-rise building, drop, cover, and hold on.

  • Move away from windows and outside walls.
  • Stay in the building.
  • DO NOT use the elevators. The electricity may go out, and the sprinkler systems may come on.
  • If you are trapped, stay calm. Try to get someone’s attention by tapping on hard or metal parts of the structure. Doing so may increase your chances of being rescued.

If you are inside a crowded place, drop, cover, and hold on.

  • Do not rush for the doorways. Others will have the same idea.
  • Move away from display shelves containing objects that may fall.
  • If you can, take cover and grab something to shield your head and face from falling debris and glass.

These precautionary measures are recommended by the US Centre for Disease Control. 

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