Guide: What you should do when an earthquake strikes

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SRINAGAR: Earthquakes occur along cracks in the earth’s surface, called fault lines, and can be felt over large areas.

Kashmir is prone to earthquakes, which cannot be predicted and can happen any time of the year. Therefore, it is best to be prepared beforehand and also when the quake occurs.

Here is a list of instructions to follow when an earthquake strikes:

Indoors

If you are indoors during an earthquake, do not run outside as injuries from falling debris might occur.

It is advised to duck, cover, and hold on, according to the US Geological Survey.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) advises that if you are indoors, you should:

• If you are unable to move out of building get under heavy furniture such as a table, desk, bed or any other solid furniture, and cover your head and chest

• Hold on to the object you are under and be prepared to move with the object until the shaking has finished.

• If you can’t get under something strong, or if you are in a hallway, flatten yourself or bend against an interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms.

• If you are in a shopping mall, go into the nearest store. Stay away from windows, and shelves with heavy objects.

• If you are at school, get under a desk or table and hold on.

• If you are in a wheelchair, lock the wheels and protect the back of your head and neck.

Outdoors

Stay away from buildings, overhead wires, or steep slopes that may collapse or generate falling debris during an earthquake.

Driving

It is best to stop the car in an open area (not next to a road cut, where debris may fall) and wait out the shaking.

Things not to do during an Earthquake

DO NOT turn on the gas again if you turned it off; let the gas company do it

DO NOT use matches, lighters, camp stoves or barbecues, electrical equipment, appliances UNTIL you are sure there are no gas leaks. They may create a spark that could ignite leaking gas and cause an explosion and fire

DO NOT use your telephone, EXCEPT for a medical or fire emergency. You could tie up the lines needed for emergency response. If the phone doesn’t work send someone for help.

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