Earthquake, stop!


THE tremors we experienced during the last couple of weeks caused panic among Kagay-anons.

Although the epicenter of these earthquakes was mostly concentrated in Central and Southern Mindanao, particularly in Cotabato and Davao region, Cagayan de Oro City had its share of strong jolts that lasted for few seconds.

It was enough for our local officials to initiate and conduct inspections for damages in major bridges and public and private buildings to prevent catastrophic result should a strong aftershock occurred.

It was a traumatizing experience to witness the buildings in our university swayed and cars shook in the parking lot due to these earthquakes.

As part of preparation for this kind of natural calamity, our school administration has been conducting earthquake drills so that students, faculty members, administration, and staff would know what to do.

Duck, cover, and hold. Do not panic. Go to nearest safest area outside. We were all outside. We waited for our siren to stop.

We waited for our marshals to tell us that it was safe to go back inside. After several hours, our administration decided and announced that work and classes were suspended for the day because of continuous aftershocks.

These earthquakes are for real. Not a drill. Lives and properties are lost permanently. This should be taken seriously.

But, sad to note, some people are making a joke out of this catastrophe.

Children and adults from the other parts of Mindanao, unfortunately, had a dreadful experience during this earthquakes.

Why can't these people be sensitive enough to shut up and just empathized? What's worst is, some ignorant fools are using this tragedy to push their political agenda at the expense of the victims. Show some concern with our kababayans? Tao ba kayo?

It is better to know or educate oneself on what to do during earthquake. Encourage earthquake drills.

As what Phivolcs kept reminding us: There is no reliable technology in the world that can confidently predict the exact time, date and location of large earthquakes. Always be prepared. And it is unfortunate that our country lies within the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Therefore, it is expected that earthquakes will be an apparent occurrence for Filipinos. The best way to address this unpredicted natural disaster is to be always prepared on what to do.

Useful tips such as the one pointed out by Red Cross on how to prepare for an earthquake:

1. In protecting your family, talk about earthquakes with your family so that everyone knows what to do in case of an earthquake. Discussing ahead of time helps reduce fear, particularly for younger children. Check at your workplace and your children's schools and day care centers to learn about their earthquake emergency plans. Pick safe places in each room of your home, workplace and/or school. A safe place could be under a piece of furniture or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or tall furniture that could fall on you. Practice drop/duck, cover and hold on in each safe place.

2. In protecting your home, bolt and brace water heaters and gas appliances to wall studs. Have a professional install flexible fittings to avoid gas or water leaks. Do not hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, near beds, couches and anywhere people sleep or sit. Install strong latches or bolts on cabinets. Large or heavy items should be closest to the floor. Learn how to shut off the gas valves in your home and keep a wrench handy for that purpose. Place large and heavy objects and breakable items (bottled foods, glass or china) on lower shelves. Anchor overhead lighting fixtures to joists.

Anchor top-heavy, tall and freestanding furniture such as bookcases, china cabinets to wall studs to keep these from toppling over.

Ask about home repair and strengthening tips for exterior features, such as porches, decks, sliding glass doors, canopies, carports and garage doors.

Learn about your area's seismic building standards and land use codes before you begin new construction.

Have a professional make sure your home is securely anchored to its foundation, as well as strengthening tips for exterior features, such as decks, sliding glass doors, canopies, carports, and garage doors.

Keep safe. Be safe. Stay safe. Ligtas ang may alam.


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