Earthquake is one of the major natural disasters. Every year it causes a huge loss of life and property all around the world. Proper strategies and awareness about disaster management is the need of the hour. This will protect us from the losses and help to cope up with these hazards. However, in order to reduce the destruction caused by these occurrences the disaster management committee has laid some safety measures.
What is an Earthquake?
An earthquake is the shaking of the surface of Earth due to the sudden release of energy in the Earth’s crust, as a result, seismic waves (also known as S waves)are created. The seismic activities in an area determine the type and intensity of the earthquake.
What Causes an Earthquake?
Earthquakes are caused due to sudden tectonic movements in the earth’s crust. When the tectonic plates slide over one another, there is a cause of orogeny which results in earthquakes and volcanoes. These disturbances cause vibrations which spread in all the directions. As there is a relative motion of these plates, there is stress built up, which breaks by releasing the stored energy known as shock waves.
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What to do During an Earthquake?
Before the disaster:
- Connections of gas lines and appliances must be made flexible.
- An earthquake readiness plan must be kept ready, including locating a shelter house, canned food and up to date first aid kit, gallons of water, dust masks, goggles, firefighting equipment, a torch and a working battery-operated radio.
- Architects and structural engineers must be consulted before laying the foundation of buildings in earthquake-prone areas, also the building must be manufactured as per the rules and regulations laid by the disaster management committee.
- Awareness must be spread among friends and family members about the above-mentioned measures.
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Do’s and Dont’s:
- One must stay indoors until the shaking stops and it’s officially announced that it is safe to exit.
- One must stay away from bookcases, furniture and heavy appliances that may fall.
- The shelter must be under a table or bed, and hold on to a post or any other fixture.
- If one is outdoors, the shelter must be taken in a clear stop away from buildings, trees, and power lines.
After the disaster:
Following are the measures that must be undertaken after the calamity is over.
- First aid kits must be used to tend to persons with minor injuries such as bleedings and bruises. Whereas seriously injured individuals must not be moved until they are out of danger and proper medical help has arrived.
- If the person is not breathing, rescue breathing must be administered. If the person has no pulse, CPR must be given.
- Tumbling shelves and falling items must be taken care of and damaged walls made of bricks must be avoided.
- Main gas valves must be checked for leaks. The main power switch must be turned off if there is a possibility of damage. Broken appliances must be unplugged until the damage is repaired.
- One must stay away from downed power lines and any object or appliance in contact with it.
What are the Effects of an Earthquake?
Following are the effects of the earthquake:
- Ground shaking: Surface waves that are near the epicentre are responsible for the earthquake. The intensity of ground shaking depends on the duration, local geology and distance.
- Damage to a man-made structure.
- An outbreak of fire and spilling of hazardous chemicals.
What is the difference between seismograph and Richter scale?
Following is the table explaining the difference between seismograph and Richter scale:
|Used for measuring and recording the vibrations of earthquakes||Used for indicating the intensity of an earthquake|
|Used for measuring the motions related to the ground like seismic waves resulting in an earthquake and volcanic eruptions||Used for quantifying the energy that is released during an earthquake|
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do earthquakes occur?
An earthquake can occur anywhere on the earth but most of the times it occurs near the tectonic plates that have active faults.
What is seismograph?
Seismograph is an instrument that is used to measure and record the details related to earthquakes like force, duration, etc.
What is an earthquake zone?
Earthquake zone is defined as the zone on the earth’s surface around which the majority of earthquakes occur. It is also known as seismic zone or the earthquake belts.
What are earthquake zones in India?
There are total 5 earthquake zones in India and they are:
- Zone 5: Highly prone to earthquakes. Punjab, Kashmir and North-East India.
- Zone 4: Parts of Delhi, Jammu, Bihar and Indo-Gangetic basin.
- Zone 3: Moderate damage risk. Western Himalayan plains, Andaman and Nicobar islands.
- Zone 2 and 1: Low damage risk.