Residents in Lebanon this week felt the earthquake and its aftershocks that jolted earthquake hit Turkey and Syria. While the tremor only lasted for a few seconds in Lebanon, seismic activity is common in Lebanon and the Lebanese Civil Defense has issued a series of guidelines to help protect individuals in the event of an earthquake. This comes after a 4.9 magnitude earthquake was felt in Lebanon on Sunday night, followed by several aftershocks. The guidelines provide advice on what to do before, during, and after an earthquake, as well as in various different situations such as indoors, outside, in a public place, in a vehicle, and in elevators.
Before an earthquake
The guidelines recommend that individuals secure their furniture and objects before an earthquake, repair cracks in walls, and identify safe places both inside and outside of their home. They also advise that families develop an emergency plan and set up a meeting place.
During an earthquake
During an earthquake, individuals are encouraged to stay indoors, take shelter under a sturdy table, stay away from windows and other objects that could fall, and turn off power sources. Those outside are advised to move away from buildings and trees, and avoid taking shelter under them. In a public place, individuals are advised to avoid going to the exit door and move away from any objects that could fall.
For individuals in a vehicle, the guidelines recommend staying calm, parking on the right side of the road, avoiding bridges and tunnels, and taking refuge away from buildings, walls, and electrical installations. Those in elevators are advised to stop at the nearest floor and take the emergency stairs.
After an earthquake
It is recommended to boil water after an earthquake if there is a concern that the water supply may have been contaminated. Boiling water for at least one minute can kill harmful bacteria and viruses that may be present. It is also important to use safe water sources and to avoid drinking water that may have been contaminated with chemicals or other harmful substances. Following an earthquake, it is also important to check for gas leaks as well as any electrical damage and if you smell gas, turn off the main gas valve, open windows, and leave the building immediately. Avoid using elevators and take the stairs if needed due to the potential for aftershocks.
The Lebanese Civil Defense hopes that these guidelines will help keep individuals safe in the event of an earthquake. They also urge the public to take them seriously and to prepare themselves in advance.