Earthquake Update: Be Alert for Aftershocks

Here is another unverified report from Peter who just got back from Balik Pulau. The disaster areas, namely the coastal villages that were struck by a tsunami following the earthquake off Sumatra have been cordoned off to facilitate rescue efforts. Lives were lost, injured or unaccounted for. Fishermen at sea when the massive waves came are still missing. Many buildings were badly damaged. Two people who were fishing by the shore suddenly discovered that they could see their line and hook and the bottom of the sea. They looked up and saw a fast approaching wall of water in the distance and ran for their lives up to higher ground. They lived to tell this story. Many did not. Please pray for those who were injured or are still missing and the families of those who lost their loved ones in this tragedy.

I believe Penang experienced an aftershock at around 5:00pm just now. I could be mistaken but I thought I felt the floor moving again. Maybe it was just my mind playing tricks on me. I am still unsettled after that first tremor. However, if there indeed was an aftershock, it could trigger another tsunami, albeit one less damaging than the first. This is not a good time to be near the coasts or out at sea. Be alert. I hope the entry on what to do in the event of an earthquake may be helpful.

Earthquake Update: The Aftermath in Penang

I just got off the phone with my nephew who stays with his family at the Pulau Betong fishing village near Balik Pulau. That area was hit by tsunamis subsequent to the earthquake off Sumatra this morning. His father and brother are both fishermen. Luckily they were not out at sea when the massive waves struck. His brother however lost his moored boat which sank after the incident. I am relieved that they are all safe. However there were unverified reports from my cousin Peter who is currently in Balik Pulau that the coastal villages there were badly affected – houses and buildings were damaged, lives were lost and many more injured or still missing.

Earthquake: What To Do

The earthquake just now unnerved me. Its severity was unexpected and I was not prepared for it. Staying in a high-rise made it even more frightening as immediate evacuation is almost impossible. What should one do during an earthquake? Here is a brief compilation of the procedures to follow in the event of an earthquake from the many websites listed by Google.

  1. Remain calm – do not panic.
  2. Open the door to secure an exit route.
  3. Turn off all sources of fire.
  4. Do not evacuate until the earthquake is over.
  5. Seek shelter under a sturdy desk away from glass and windows. Cover head
    and face to protect from falling debris and broken glass.
  6. Keep away from tall cabinets that could topple over and fittings that may
  7. Get out immediately after the earthquake stops, taking with you keys,
    wallets and emergency supplies only.
  8. Put on your shoes before going out.
  9. Close the door behind you when evacuating, watching out for people who may
    need your help in getting out.
  10. Do not use the elevator.
  11. When outside, move away from buildings, trees, power lines and lamp posts.
  12. Do not make unnecessary telephone calls. Making phone calls to the
    emergency services to get information may hamper their rescue efforts.