NCDC » Threats » Earthquakes  · 


An earthquake is violent fracturing of rocks deep in the earth creating fractures under or on the surface and resulting in vibrations in the earth that are transmitted to buildings.


  • Know the cut off points for water, electricity and gas and how to operate them
  • Fix shelving and bookcases firmly to the walls
  • Place heavy objects as low as possible



If you are inside

  • Do not run outside. You are safer inside. Shelter in a doorway, under a table, a bench, a desk or a bed and hold on to it so as to follow its movements
  • If there is no solid furniture, stand against an internal wall and protect your head and neck
  • Move away from the fireplace, windows and balconies
  • Do not use lifts

If you are outside

  • Run to an open space
  • Move away from structures, buildings, high walls, overhead cables, electric cables, and all other structures that could collapse
  • If you are caught near a tall building or in a narrow street take shelter under a porch or in a doorway so as to protect yourself from falling objects

If you are in a car

  • Stop the car and stay in it
  • Avoid bridges, culverts, and all other structures that could collapse



If you are injured

  • Don't panic, stay calm
  • Attract attention by all means (use a whistle, knock on walls, etc.)

If you are not injured

  • Put out any fires that may have started
  • Switch off all sources of heat and radiators
  • In case of damage, turn off the electricity, water and gas supply
  • Do not use matches or lighters because of the risk of gas leaks
  • Listen to the radio and follow the instructions of those in charge of the rescue operations
  • Provide first aid to the wounded (first aid kit)
  • Use the telephone only if lives are in danger. This is so as to not overload the telephone network which is essential for the rescue and medical services
  • Do not enter a damaged building, even if you believe it is safe
  • In case of aftershocks stay where you are and protect yourself
  • Ration your stocks of food and drinking water
  • Try & resque the wounded lying on the surface.
  • Assist Emergency Services with information and as volunteer.


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