How to deal with an earthquake
Japan is said to be an "earthquake country". I hear that there are many people who have experienced it for the first time after visiting Japan.
Earthquakes are disasters that can not be predicted, but by taking appropriate actions, it is possible to stop the damage to a minimum. Let me explain how to deal with this when you encounter it.
Actions to be taken at the moment of "shaking"
First of all, if you are hit by a big earthquake shaking indoors, you should get under the desk at once. In the case of the damage caused by a major earthquake, it is common to get trapped under the fallen furniture, household goods, and a collapsed building. You can avoid these risks by entering under a robust desk. At this time, putting a zabuton sitting mat and handbag on your head instead of a cushion is more effective to protect your head.
When you have an earthquake outdoors, you should get away from the alley block walls, stone walls, utility poles and vending machines. They are in danger of collapsing with a strong shake. You also need to be careful about buildings nearby. The outdoor unit of the air conditioner placed in the veranda and the planter for the gardening may fall.
If the ground is shaking, it makes you want to grab something, but it is safe to move to a widely opened place.
Attention on evacuation
If you encounter an earthquake at a department store, sightseeing facility, or public transportation, please follow the guidance of the staff. Especially when evacuating from the building, you should not use the elevator. There is a danger that it will stop and you will be trapped inside when "aftershocks" come. Be sure to use the stairs.
Also, in principle, you should walk to the evacuation site. If you use a car, it will get caught in a traffic jam and cause evacuation to be delayed, and it will hinder the fire fighting and rescue activities.
Do not feel relieved even if the shake stops!
Even if the earthquake stops, please do not stop moving to a safe place or leave the evacuation place. The scary part of the earthquake is that there are cases where another catastrophe will occur next. It is not uncommon for secondary disaster resulting from an earthquake to cause greater damage than the direct one due to the earthquake.
In a major earthquake, a fire almost always occurs. Besides being generated simultaneously with the shaking, the type such as "energizing fire" that occurs after restoration of electricity varies. If evacuation is delayed, the risk of getting involved is increased, so it is necessary to be careful. You should evacuate by lowering your posture covering your mouth and nose firmly with handkerchiefs and towels so that you do not inhale smoke.
If the seismic source is on the seabed, "tsunami" will rush to coastal area. After the earthquake, please move to the hill as far away as possible from the coast. Moreover, the tsunami may go back in the river. There are cases where it reaches the upstream part considerably, and even in the relatively inland region, the surroundings of rivers and waterways are dangerous.
Earthquake vibration brings about a phenomenon that the ground becomes liquid due to groundwater. Seeping water makes the ground softer and surrounding buildings are at increased risk of collapsing. There are also cases where road collapse occurs, and evacuation routes are damaged. If you find the area where groundwater is spurting, please avoid approaching.