Should we stay indoors during a quake?
IN THE EXTENSIVE COVERAGE of the recent earthquakes in Barbados, the last WEEKEND NATION on Page 5, under the caption Dos And Don’ts, issued the following advice (inter alia): “During an earthquake, you should . . . stay indoors until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe”.
Frankly, this sounds like madness to me. Reviews of earthquake casualties anywhere in the world show very clearly that collapsing buildings are virtually the only killers in an earthquake. The safest place is outside, away from buildings.
In Barbados where buildings are seldom built with earthquakes in mind, you’re not going to convince anybody to stay indoors.
Perhaps this advice is appropriate in other countries where massive multistorey constructions make it virtually impossible to exit quickly during a quake, but it seems hardly appropriate in a place like Barbados where the safety of outside is at most a doorway or two away, with few (mainly large corporate) exceptions.
I wonder if the WEEKEND NATION could review this advice, tell us the source, and indicate whether it really is appropriate and sensible advice for Barbadians. But lemme tell yuh, I heading fuh de door. Fast.
– TREVOR R SHEPHERD
EDITOR’S NOTE: The information was credited to CDEMA.org