Earthquakes are a constant danger in many places around the world.
The earthquake in China’s Sichuan area that happened yesterday (Aug 9) is an example of how we can never be too prepared.
Locals know the rules on how to be ready for them and how to best protect themselves, but what about people who are just visiting?
Tourists should also be aware of the risks when travelling to endangered areas.
Here are some tips from the German Geophysical Centre on how to cope with catastrophe.
Always be prepared
Vacationers should study – and even better, – walk the recommended emergency evacuation routes at least once.
These routes are usually posted by a hotel or holiday apartment complex.
Also keep an eye for potential shelter spots and emergency assembly areas.
You can also agree with family members on where to meet should an earthquake happen.
If you’re in a travel group pay attention to the meeting point.
If you’re inside a hotel room
Those who do not have a room right next to the ground-floor exit should not try to flee the building while a quake is going on.
Flying objects and shards of glass can cause injuries.
In the room, you can take shelter beneath a table or bed – and you should stay there for as long as the quake continues, even if the furniture is moving about.
An alternative is also a sturdy door-frame.
One can also lie on the floor, preferably close to an interior load-bearing wall and away from the outside walls.
If possible, try to lie away from heavy furniture such as bookshelves or cupboards.
While lying down, you should cross your arms over your head and face.
If you’re out in the open
If you’re outside when an earthquake strikes, you should look as quickly as possible for an open space away from buildings, trees and street lamps.
But you should also stay away from steep slopes.
If the quake strikes near a flat, coastal region, you should flee inland to the highest possible elevation to avoid a possible tsunami.