New Delhi: Needless to say, 2020 has been a disastrous year for most of us. With the Covid-19 pandemic hitting us, gloom and death has pervaded the entire globe in addition to the many disasters which have severely impacted lives and economies. However, it seems that we might have to face more trouble as there are warnings that a major earthquake might hit India soon. Also Read - Ghaziabad Earthquake: Low-intensity Tremors Felt in City, no Damage to Life & Property

Even yesterday night, a medium-intensity earthquake of magnitude 4.2 struck near Delhi, and strong tremors were felt for several seconds. The epicentre of the earthquake was 48 km southwest of Gurgaon in Haryana, according to India’s National Center for Seismology.

Delhi, which lies close to a faultline, is susceptible to big earthquakes, geologists say. The city falls in seismic zone IV which is a very high-risk zone. The Delhi-NCR region has recorded nearly 20 low-intensity quakes from April this year and the same trend has been witnessed in other parts of the country and the entire globe. Does this mean a big one is going to hit soon?

A clear answer is not still available, but we need to be prepared to protect ourselves whenever such calamity strikes. Unlike other types of natural disasters, earthquakes can happen at any time, without any notice, so being thoroughly prepared is the only option. Here are some safety tips:

Before the earthquake: Remember to secure your home

Try to make your home safe and resistant to earthquake by damage by assessing its structure and contents. Take a tour around your house and look for things that could fall or break if the ground starts to shake. If the walls are weak and damaged, hire a professional to fix the problems.

Remember to place large or heavy objects on lower shelves so that they don’t fall on you in case of a quake. Keep breakable items, such as glass and china, in low, closed cabinets with latches. Get defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections repaired, and install flexible pipe fittings to avoid gas and water leaks.

Assemble an earthquake emergency kit that includes food, water, and other supplies for at least 72 hours.

During an Earthquake: Drop, Cover, and Hold On!

If an earthquake hits while you are indoors, remember the golden rule of Drop, Cover and hold on. Choose spots where it is unlikely something will fall on you. Drop down and take cover under a desk or table and be prepared to hold on until the shaking stops.

Stay inside and stay away from heavy objects like heavy furniture, TV, bookcases, vases that might fall on you. If you are in your bed, protect your head with a pillow to protect yourself from flying glass and other debris.

Don’t run to the doorways, outside or to other rooms while it’s still shaking. If you are in the kitchen, quickly turn off the stove and take cover at the first sign of shaking.

As per EarthquakeCountry.Org, studies of injuries and deaths caused by earthquakes over the last several decades show that you are much more likely to be injured by falling or flying objects (TVs, lamps, glass, bookcases, etc.) than to die in a collapsed building.

In case you are outside, drop to the ground in a clear spot away from buildings, trees and power lines. Go to an open area, get down low and stay there until the shaking stops.

Tips for earthquake Readiness plan

-Make sure all members of your family are familiar with the tips because once a quake strikes, you will have no time to explain things to them.

-Assemble an earthquake emergency kit that includes enough food, water, and other supplies for at least 72 hours. Keep a flashlight, slippers and gloves next to beds.

-Mark where the utility switches or valves are located, and learn how to turn off your gas and water mains, as well as electricity.