After an earthquake, it is important to be cautious and stay safe. Earthquakes can cause significant damage to buildings and human lives. Knowing what to do and what not to do after an earthquake is essential. Let's take a look at the do’s and don’ts after an earthquake. Potential hazards of earthquakes Earthquakes can have far-reaching consequences, both immediate and long-term. It can cause immense destruction to lives, communities, buildings, and infrastructure. In addition to that, an earthquake can also trigger landslides, floods, tsunamis, or other secondary hazards. Human lives are vulnerable to earthquakes. Earthquakes can lead to serious injuries such as broken bones, concussions, and even death. Earthquakes extensively damage buildings and infrastructure. Buildings may collapse due to shaking or be damaged by falling debris. Bridges, roads, and other transportation routes can also get damaged severely. Furthermore, fires can break out due to broken gas lines or other sources of ignition. Earthquakes can also lead to environmental hazards, such as landslides, floods, and tsunamis. Landslides are caused by the shaking of the ground, which can cause rocks and soil to become displaced and slide down a slope. Floods can be triggered by heavy rains following the earthquake or by dams that fail due to shaking. Tsunamis are large waves caused by the sudden displacement of large amounts of water by the earthquake and can cause extensive destruction to coastal areas. Finally, earthquakes can have long-term consequences such as environmental damage, economic loss, and psychological trauma. Earthquakes can cause air and water pollution due to the release of hazardous materials. Read More: Earthquake Safety: Do’s and Don’ts during an Earthquake Do’s and Don’ts After an Earthquake Many people die by falling under the buildings demolished by the earthquake. Therefore, increasing public awareness is necessary to prepare for potential earthquakes and reduce damage. Check the following to know your steps after an earthquake. - Try to stay calm and check the surroundings. - Check yourself and others for injuries. - After the shaking, wait for a while, then exit. Because hanging objects may fall from above after a while. - Check that gas and electrical appliances are switched off. Also, check for any exposed pipes for gas or water leaks. If you can smell gas, open windows and get out of the home or structure. Get repairs done quickly. - Turn off the main switch or fuse if there is an electric spark anywhere. Beware of damaged buildings. - Listen to the radio or, if possible, contact others through mobile for further instructions from the authorities. - Make a gentle tap on the pipe or wall to make your presence known during the rescue operation. Consider screaming as the last option. Because, while shouting, harmful dust can enter the mouth.Move away from building exteriors and power lines. - If you are indoors, remain inside and move away from windows. - If you are outside, move away from any building, infrastructure, tree, and power line. - Don’t go near the coastline in case of a tsunami warning. - Don’t try to drive until roads have been cleared of debris. - Refrain from going sightseeing. Stay away from affected areas. - Stay away from using elevators or escalators. - If you suspect damage in the sewer, don’t flash your toilet. - Cover your nose and mouth with your hand or a handkerchief if you fall into the dust.Engage yourself in rescue work. Help for evacuation of affected people to temporary shelters. Read More: Landslide Safety, Preparedness Tips: Dos and Don'ts Final Words Bangladesh is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world due to unplanned urbanization, non-compliance with required building codes, and sprawling buildings and structures. Since an earthquake is a natural disaster, it cannot be stopped. Therefore, this disaster is possible only through strong and effective post-earthquake institutional management to prevent earthquake pre-preparation and damage. All public and private organizations must be prepared in advance for earthquakes. That is why it is important to take proper steps for all the organizations, including necessary training to properly concentrate in the post-earthquake period. Development of pre-preparedness is absolutely essential as overall readiness for earthquakes in the current framework is very poor in Bangladesh. So far, we have discussed the potential hazards of earthquakes and the steps to take after an earthquake. By understanding these post-earthquake cautions, you can better prepare yourself and your family for an earthquake.
Natural disasters like landslides can demolish infrastructure, houses, structures and harm living beings like humans, pets, wildlife, forests, etc. Keep reading to find out more information on Landslide safety tips and ways of prevention. What is a Landslide A landslide occurs when large volumes of rock, soil, or debris slip down a slope. Debris and mudflows are water-saturated rivers of rock, soil, and other debris. They form when water quickly accumulates in the ground, such as after heavy rainfall or fast snowmelt, turning the land into a mudslide or "slurry" river. At avalanche rates, they may flow quickly and strike with little or no notice. They may also continue many miles from their origin, expanding in size as they take up trees, stones, automobiles, and other debris. Read: Acid Rain: Causes, Effects and Solutions Landslides can be caused by a number of different things, such as the pressure of water from underground, rainfall, earthquakes, human activity, and other things. When to get prepared for Landslide While landslides may strike without notice, there are warning indicators to look for, particularly if you live in a landslide-prone location or where landslides have occurred before. Changes in the landscape, such as the flow of precipitation, new fissures in a building's foundation or in paved areas, skewed trees, fences, and utility poles, and the noises of moving material are all symptoms of a landslide. Watch out for those signs and take the necessary cautions to be safe. Read: School Fire Drills: Significance, Ways to Conduct Safely How to prepare for Landslide Landslides may also happen rapidly and without warning, so being knowledgeable about changes in and around your property that might indicate a landslide is imminent is the best way to prepare. Safety Plan Establish an emergency plan for your family or company that is in line with local emergency response and evacuation strategies. Make sure you have the correct insurance. Landslides may be insured by different Flood Insurance Programs in certain places. The gathering of information is the first thing you should do in order to ensure your safety in the event of a landslide. Find out whether and how often landslides and mudslides have occurred in your town, and locate the evacuation routes and shelters in your region. Read Effects of Air Pollution on Unborn Children, Neonates, Infants As is the case with the majority of emergency preparations, you should design a household emergency plan that accounts for the chance that your family would be split apart in the event of a landslide. Prepare a portable emergency stockpiling kit that you are able to carry with you in the event that you are forced to evacuate. Domestic Animal and Pet Safety Develop a buddy system. If you are unable to care for or evacuate your pets yourself, make arrangements with nearby residents, neighbours, and family members to ensure that someone will be available to do so. Make sure your pet has a microchip. Be sure to maintain an up-to-date address and phone number, and also include the contact information for a person who is located outside of your local region who can assist you in case of an emergency. Read How Can One Person Reduce Environmental Pollution? If you are unclear how to care for your pet in the event of an emergency, it is recommended that you get in touch with your local emergency management office, animal shelter, or animal control agency for extra guidance and information. Consider the fundamentals for survival, such as food and water, just like you would with your family's emergency supplies box. Have two kits on hand: one bigger kit for sheltering in place and one lighter one in case you need to leave. Check your kits on a frequent basis to check that the contents, particularly meals and medications, are still fresh. Property Protection If you want to protect your home and property from being damaged by landslides, you should think about erecting nets, retaining walls, and cultivating sturdy vegetation. This is highly important on slopes and in regions where wildfires have decimated the surrounding plants and trees. It is not appropriate to destroy vegetation that has the potential to help prevent erosion. Read: School Fire Hazard Safety: Essential preventive measures to minimise risk Proper Shelter If you are unable to escape, relocate to a higher level of your house and remain vigilant while listening to the weather radio or watching the weather on television. If you're in your car, be vigilant and keep an eye out for running water, which might signal the start of a landslide. Do's and Don’ts During Landslide In the event of a landslide, it is imperative that you safeguard yourself and your community by adhering to certain fundamental dos and don'ts until official aid comes. What You Should Do - If you are staying in a landslide-prone region, attempt to leave as soon as possible. - Be wary of large stones that are unusually cracking or rolling. - Keep an eye on the stream or channel's water. A change in colour from clear to muddy or an increase in water level might be concerning. - Keep yourself out of the way of falling rubble or landslides. - Keep an eye out for mudslides or debris overflow on the road. - Contact the local government for assistance or aid. - Notify your neighbours about the disaster. - Simply bring your essential papers and valuables. - Make your life a higher priority than your house furnishings or automobiles on the road. Read How to stop global warming? How to combat climate change in Bangladesh? What You Shouldn’t Do - During the Landslide, avoid driving. - Crossing a stream or a flooded river is not a good idea. - Try to follow the government's directions and do not disobey them. - Do not disregard moist places or any signs of a road or building fractures. How to prevent the human causes of Landslide Though a landslide is a natural disaster, human activities can influence the process. Land mismanagement may produce landslides, especially in mountainous canyons and coastal areas. Lower precipitation thresholds may cause landslides in regions burnt by forest and brush fires. Many landslides, mudflow, and debris flow hazards may be avoided through land-use zoning, competent inspections, and good design. Conclusion Landslides may be produced for a multitude of reasons, including earthquakes, storms, volcanic eruptions, fire, and human land alteration. So far we have mentioned how to stay prepared for landslides. If the people of a community follow a comprehensive landslide safety plan, the harm to life and property can be minimised. Read: Apartment Fire Safety: Causes, Prevention, Ways to Stop Fire in Residential Buildings