Although Singapore lies outside the earthquake zone, an earthquake in the region may cause tremors to be felt in some parts of the island. According to the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), knowing these precautions to take when a tremor occurs can help to avoid unnecessary anxiety or injury:
• When tremor occurs:
- keep calm and take cover under a desk, table or against interior walls. Stay away from windows, outside doors or walls, display shelves and anything that can fall and hurt you, such as lighting, furniture or fixtures;
- Do not rush for the exit which may start a stampede;
- If you are outdoors, stay away from buildings and overhead electrical cables. Remain in the open until the tremor stops;
- Do not use candles, matches or other naked flames during and after the tremor, as there might be a gas leak; and
- If driving, stop quickly and safely and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under trees, buildings, bridges, overpasses or overhead electrical cables.
• After vibrations have stopped:
- Do not touch any damaged electrical wiring. Report any gas leaks;
- Give help to those who are injured or who require assistance. Call the Police or SCDF if necessary; and
- Check your home for any structural defects and alert relevant authorities such as the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and HDB Essential Maintenance Service Unit.
(source: SCDF Civil Defence Emergency Handbook)
In addition, here are some more precautions culled from various websites:
• During an earthquake:
- The most important thing is to remain calm.
- If you are indoors, stand in a doorway or crouch under a desk or table, away from windows or glass fixtures.
- If you are outdoors, stay away from objects such as light poles, buildings, trees and telephone or electric wires which could fall and injure you.
• After an earthquake:
- Check for injuries in your family and in the neighbourhood. Seriously injured persons should not be moved unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. First-aid should be administered, but only by someone who is qualified or has a working knowledge of first-aid.
- Turn off appropriate utilities. Do not use matches, lighters or open flame, appliances or electrical switches until you are sure that there are no gas leaks.
- Keep battery-operated radios and listen for emergency bulletins.
- Be prepared for additional earthquake shocks.
Books on earthquakes can be found under the call number 551.22 in the library. For availability of book titles, please check the library catalogue.
Posted by Galvin Soh
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