4 things not to do during an earthquake

4 things not to do during an earthquake


Greenwatch Desk

Silly mistakes that could cost you your life

The 6.9 earthquake that originated in Myanmar on the eve of Pohela Boishakh, was felt by people sitting in Dhaka, complaining about the heat. Word on the street is, there are bigger quakes yet to come, maybe even this year.

Enough material has been published on things to do during an earthquake, and some of these things,  we’ve actually adopted on an individual level. But there’s something about mob mentality that kicks in during an actual disaster, which leads to some dangerous behaviours that make a bad situation worse. Here are four of them.

Window treatment

The first thing that one does in the event of a brewing storm or the distant sound of an explosion, ie, heading to the window to find out more, is the last thing one should be doing in the event of an earthquake. Standing anywhere near glass, or sharp edges could result in some pretty horrific injuries. So save the curiosity for later, and back away slowly. Ditto for chandeliers and other breakable fixtures.

Power hour

Footage of the earthquake in Dhaka showed a lot of people congregating on the streets, staring up at the buildings they had just exited, trying to determine if it was still moving. What was also clearly visible in the video, were the power-lines swaying directly overhead. Had this been a stronger earthquake, this could have resulted in some serious injuries. While heading outside is a sensible choice, it’s just as important to remember to get out of the way of power lines if one wants to minimise the risk of electrocution.

Rush hour

As terrifying as it is when the ground beneath your feet starts to shudder, it’s worse being crushed underfoot while trying to get out of the building. If it’s shaking inside the building, it’s shaking outside as well, and if the tremors aren’t violent, it’s better to wait them out instead of starting a stampede.

Descent into chaos

Anyone who happened to be at Bashundhara City on Wednesday would be able to testify to the mad rush to the elevators that ensued at the first sight of a tremor. We cannot stress enough just how dangerous this is. Setting aside the whole stampede factor we just mentioned, a big quake could snap the cables holding the elevator, causing a pretty nasty plummet and crash. And should there be a power outage, you could stand the risk of being trapped there for a very long time. It’s better to take the stairs, slowly.



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