By Robert B. Roque, Jr.
No matter what some people say, it will be the hardest thing for anyone to prepare for the worst when it comes to earthquakes.
Unlike storms whose movements can be read by weather machines, earthquakes are unpredictable and can occur even at the most unexpected time.
Just recently, a series of tremors struck Mindanao. A 6.5- magnitude quake hit Central Mindanao only two days after a 6.6-magnitude temblor rocked the region. A 6.3-magnitude quake also shook Mindanao on October 16.
President Duterte ordered local government units (LGUs) to inspect the integrity of buildings nationwide as a result. Even his house was not spared as cracks were seen inside his bedroom following the quake.
The Presidential Security Group (PSG) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) would be inspecting his house.
Before leaving for Bangkok for the 35th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, Duterte ordered government agencies to extend immediate relief to residents of areas affected by the quakes.
Residents all over the country should also have the structure of their houses inspected to be sure of its safety in case a strong quake occurs. Some homes may not be structurally ready for calamities like the recent quakes.
Have a flashlight always ready with extra batteries. Also have a portable, battery-operated radio transistor with extra batteries. Have a first aid kit available and some emergency food and water on hand. There should also be a can opener, additional medicines, and extra sturdy shoes.
If you are indoors, remember to drop, cover, and hold. You should fall to the ground, find cover under a table or some other sturdy furniture and hold on until the tremor stops.
Place yourself against a wall. Stay away from anything made of glass like window panes, mirrors, or picture frames; away from heavy bookcases or some heavy furniture that could fall on you; and stay on the floor with your arms covering your head.
Once outside your house, move away from any structure, trees, overpasses, expressways, telephone, and electrical lines, and proceed to open space.
Bear in mind that earthquakes occur without warning. No one is aware of when the next major earthquake will hit us. These tips can come in handy when you least expect it. Let’s hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
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