Disaster management during an Earthquake

Disaster management during an Earthquake

Question:-Disaster management is fast emerging especially in recent wake of natural disasters that leave a region and people helpless taking away everything from them. What are the various steps to be taken during and post an earthquake as well as the precautions for the highly active regions.

India is divided into the following seismic zones. Zone 5 is highly prone with greatest intensity and zone 2 which is least active and not much at risk.

Zone 5- The region of Kashmir, the western and central Himalayas, North Bihar, the North-East Indian region and the Rann of Kutch fall in this zone.

Zone 4- The Indo-Gangetic basin and the capital of the country (Delhi), Jammu and Kashmir fall in Zone 4. In Maharashtra, the Faltan area (Koyananager) is also in zone no-4. In Bihar the northern part of the state like- Raksaul, Near the border of India and Nepal, is also in zone no-4.

Zone-3- The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, parts of Kashmir, Western Himalayas fall under this zone.

Zone-2- Least active.

In the case of an earthquake, non resistant buildings may collapse burying thousands of people beneath. It may lead to a dislocation or blocking of road and rail route which may make it difficult to reach aid on time. In light of this, it is pertinent to take precautions, especially the regions that are at a higher risk of earthquakes, whereas other regions which are even mildly prone to a seismic activity can avail the following precautions.

Precautions- Following is a list of things to keep handy in case an earthquake strikes.

1. Sufficient supply of medication that you and your family would need.

2. Flashlights with extra batteries

3. Fire extinguisher

4. Canned package foods, non perishable. Extra food for pets.

5. Camp stove to use outdoors

6. Water proof plastic bags for waste disposal

7. Enough stock of sanitation

Given the geology of the region, or according to the zones mentioned the size of an earthquake can be estimated. Based on the intensity of the shaking caused, response of buildings can be assumed, according to which buildings can be built. There is a need to pay attention to the structural precaution as well where glass windows must be sturdy enough to withstand an earthquake, the ceilings, walls and foundation must be strong as well. Earthquake resistant construction should be mandatory in the regions of Zone 5 and 4 at the least.

During an earthquake:

1. It is important that you stay clear of windows, fireplaces, appliances and heavy furniture and do not wait in the kitchen.

2. Try not rush outside the building or run downstairs where there is a risk of getting hurt with the falling glass or debris and if you are outside, it is preferred that you stand in the open away from the buildings, power lines etc. do not stop your car under a bridge, tree or any other building.

3. In a mountainous area, watch for falling rocks, trees and other debris which loosens due to the earthquake.

Post earthquake-

1. First of all wear shoes that are resistant with water, glass etc.

2. Once you are fine, check other people for injuries. Cover the injured with blankets and seek medical help for serious injuries. Do not move injured persons unless they are in further danger.

3. Check for various hazards like fire or gas leaks, damaged electrical wiring, utility wires etc.

4. Last but not the least, be sure you help other people.

Role of government: Following an earthquake are various other hazards like rains, break out of an epidemic, shortage of basic necessities, jammed roads etc. Given below are some of the efforts made by the government in order to ease the situation.

- A declaration of an emergency allows the government to send supplementary funds to the state and local efforts can be maximized. The assistance provided in a declared emergency may not exceed 5 million dollars.

- Locates, extricates and provides initial medical treatment to victims trapped in collapsed structures.

- Manages and coordinates food, shelter and first-aid for victims; provides bulk distribution of relief supplies; operates a system to assist family reunification.

- Provides assistance for public health and medical care needs.

- Identifies food needs; ensures that food gets to affected areas.
Post your comment


  • RE: Disaster management during an Earthquake -Akshay Raj (12/21/18)
  • Could include more content in it