What to do when an earthquake strikes? [ARCHIVED]

What to do when an earthquake strikes?

Since there were recently about 2 earthquakes in the Caribbean, let me help spread the word about some reliable information on earthquakes. If you didn’t know anything or much on earthquakes, I hope this news post gave you some form of help.  First of all let me give you a brief definition of an earthquake.

What is an earthquake?
Shaking and vibration at the surface of the earth resulting from underground movement along a fault plane of from volcanic activity.

What to do during an earthquake?

1. If you are indoors, duck or drop (crouch) down to the floor. Take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other form of furniture. Hold on to it and be prepared to move with it once it is easily to move. Hold the position until the ground stops shaking and it is safe to move. Stay clear of windows, fireplaces, woodstoves, and heavy furniture or appliances that may fall over. Stay inside to avoid being injured by falling glass or building parts. If you are in a crowded area, take cover where you are. Stay calm and encourage others to do likewise so you or they will not have to panic.

2. If you are outside, try get into the open (bare land, pastures, fields etc,) away from buildings and power lines.

3. If you are driving(car, bus, truck, van, motor cycle, etc), stop if it is safe, but stay inside or on your car. Stay away from bridges, overpasses and tunnels. Move your car as far out of the normal traffic pattern as possible. If possible, avoid stopping under trees, light posts, power lines, or signs.

4. If you are in mountainous area/hills, or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rock and other debris that could be loosened by the earthquake.  Look aware of what is happening around you all time.

5. If you are at the beach, move quickly (run) to higher ground or several hundred yards inland.

Effects/Impacts of earthquakes

There are many effects of an earthquake so keep an eye out if you experience one, some of those are as follow;

Shaking and ground rupture

Shaking and ground rupture are the main effects created by earthquakes, principally resulting in more or less severe damage to buildings or other rigid structures. The severity of the local effects depends on the complex combination of the earthquake magnitude the distance from epicenter.

Landslides / Avalanches

Earthquakes can cause landslides and avalanches, which may cause damage in hilly and mountainous areas.


Following an earthquake, fires can be generated by break of the electrical power or gas lines. In the event of water mains rupturing and a loss of pressure, it may also become difficult to stop the spread of a fire once it has started.



Undersea earthquakes and earthquake-triggered landslides into the sea, can cause Tsunamis.

Human impacts

Earthquakes may result in disease, lack of basic necessities, loss of life, higher insurance premiums, general property damage, road and bridge damage, and collapse of buildings or destabilization of the base of buildings which may lead to collapse in future earthquakes

Source; Alaska Sea Grant College Program & Wikipedia (RicardoEllis.com is not affilated them )

Recent Earthquakes in Caribbean

December 05th, 2007, 5.4 magnitude, off Dominica (Read More)
November 29th, 2007, 7.4 magnitude, Caribbean Sea (Read More)

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