Coping With the Aftermath of Earthquakes
Earthquakes are one of the most powerful forces of nature and occur as a result of rocks changing position below earth’s surface. To experience one is frightening and the emotional aftershocks are equally devastating but to survive one is a new beginning.
After an earthquake, the most life saving thing to do is to make a start by clearing ruins, rescue those alive, treat the injured and provide food, water, shelter, sanitarian and fuel. However, the most challenging task is to restore a sense of normality to lives that are being propelled into catastrophe by a few moments of terror.
Haiti may be miles away but we are living in a global society where we can feel and see things as they happened. More to the point, we are from the same human source and we do feel each other’s pain. It’s not surprising that we want to pool together and support our neighbours in their time of despair.
While the world is gearing up to assist Haiti, millions of people in the Island are constantly waking up to the horrors of death and destruction after the country was stampeded by a major earthquake on Tuesday.
Personally, in my lifetime I’ve experienced seven earthquakes, as far as I can remember. These feeble tremors, three in the UK and four in the Caribbean, had not prepared me for this case of death, destruction and desperation.
The agony of watching the news has taken a toll on me. Looking at the crumbled buildings and trying to imagine the tomb of those buried, dead and alive; I cried to the point of blindness. I refuted my imagination and defied all possible descriptions.
We can count ourselves lucky for being alive but everyone has a share of burden and responsibility and should not hesitate to support our neighbouring country in difficult times.
This earthquake is one of the worst things ever to happen to Haiti but they have experienced catastrophe before and will surely pull through this terrible tragedy. Though reconstruction will be long and painful, time will heal the wounds and with our help, a new and better city will emerge.
We may not live in Haiti but earthquake can strike at anytime and anywhere. Bearing that in mind, I have provided six easy survival steps of how to cope in an earthquake aftermath.
How to prepare for an earthquake
1. Practice family drills and educate family members on the location of electric, gas and water metres. Teach them how to turn them on and off.
2. Always keep a torch, fire extinguisher and a fist-aid kit.
3. In the event of an earthquake, stay calm and focus.
4. Keep away from heavy objects or make sure they are on the floor.
5. Stay clear of sharp objects, mirrors and windows.
6. Go under (furniture) a table desk, bed or stand between door frames.