Earthquakes are one of the strongest natural forces on Earth today and can occur without warning. The good news is that there are steps you can take to prepare and protect yourself during an earthquake in Cyprus.
Cyprus is in a seismically active zone. The geological basis of the island, consisting of several tectonic plates, is in the Alpine-Himalayan belt of seismicity, stretching from the mountains of Spain to Palmyra.
First of all, it’s important to know what to look out for when an earthquakes occur. For starters, be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to any changes. If you hear a loud “boom” or a rumbling sound, the ground may be shaking. You may also feel the walls, floors or furniture in your home shake or vibrate.
Instructions on how to take Earthquake Safety Measures today, and protect yourself and your property in Cyprus.
During the earthquake
- When you feel an earthquake tremor, immediately get under a desk or a very sturdy table. Stand away from windows, bookcases, large mirrors and other heavy objects that can fall. Watch out for plaster and various ceiling objects (plaster decorations, etc.). Stay covered until the vibration stops. If the furniture protecting you moves, try to follow it. Below are some additional tips in case you find yourself in specific areas
- If you are in a HIGH BUILDING and there is no desk or table nearby, move towards the inside wall and protect your head with your hands. Do not use a lift. Do not be surprised if the alarm or automatic sprinkler system goes off.
- If you are outdoors, move away from trees, signs, buildings, electrical wires and poles.
- If you are walking on a sidewalk near buildings, walk towards the entrance of the nearest one to protect yourself from various objects that can fall, such as bricks, glass, plaster, etc.
- If you are driving, pull over to the side of the road. Avoid intersections, power lines and other sources of danger. Remain in the vehicle until the vibration stops.
- If you are in large crowded stores or public gathering places, do not rush to the exits. Move away from shelves with objects that could fall.
- If you are in a wheelchair, do not try to stand up. Move to a place where you can protect yourself, if possible, secure the wheels and protect your head with your hands.
- If you are in the kitchen, move away from the refrigerator, stove and high cabinets.
- If you are inside a stadium or theatre, stay in your seat and protect your head with your hands. Do not try to escape before the vibration stops. Avoid running towards the exits.
After the earthquake
A short list
- Be prepared for aftershocks of earthquakes and plan where you will protect yourself when they occur.
- Check for injured people. Give first aid if necessary.
- Remain calm and reassure others.
- Avoid broken glass.
- Check for fire. Take appropriate precautions.
- Check gas, water and electricity supplies. If there is damage to any of them, turn them off. If there is a gas leak, do not use matches, lanterns, appliances or electrical switches. Open windows, leave the building and notify the gas company.
- If due to the vibration the telephone handset has moved out of place, replace it and use the telephone only in an emergency.
- Tune in to the emergency broadcast station on the radio or television. Listen to the news bulletins.
- Stay outside the damaged building.
Family Planning – Individual & Family Preparedness
- Create a family plan for earthquakes.
- Know the safe places in each room (under tables, desks or interior walls).
- Know the danger spots (windows, mirrors, hanging objects, fireplaces and tall furniture).
- Do practical exercises. Of course, research what the safe places are for yourself and your children.
- Learn to offer first aid and resuscitation techniques.
- Decide where your family will meet in case you get lost.
- Have a list of emergency phone numbers.
- Choose an out-of-area friend or relative whose family members can call after the earthquake and alert them to your situation.
Preparation at home
- Learn how to turn off the gas and electricity in case the lines get damaged.
- Secure heavy furniture.
- Secure the water heater and appliances that can be moved and damage utilities.
- Place fragile and heavy items on low shelves. Secure cabinets with latches to prevent them from opening during an earthquake.
- Place flammable and hazardous liquids, such as paints, sprays, detergents, on cabinets or low shelves.
- Secure food, water, medicine, first aid kit, tools and clothing in case of an emergency.
- First aid kit for home and office. First aid kits are essential in case of an emergency. Among other things, they are very useful on a daily basis when someone is injured. But to be useful, a first aid kit must be accessible and complete. Always keep the bin in a position such that you can find it immediately, even when you are under the state of panic during an earthquake.
- Of course, don’t forget your cars! You need a well-stocked first aid bin for every vehicle.
Supplies need to be refreshed and kept in good condition. Especially in vehicles, where high temperatures can shorten the life of the supplies. We recommend checking them regularly and changing them at least twice a year.
Seismic family plan
Know the area very well
The safest place in the house: During an earthquake in Cyprus, stay away from heavy furniture, appliances, large glass surfaces, shelves holding large items, built-in coverings (such as fireplaces). These items usually fall or break and can injure you. Usually, the hallway is one of the safest places if it is not cluttered with objects. Kitchens and parking lots are usually the most dangerous. Also, know what the safest place in each room is. It will be difficult to move from one place to another during an earthquake.
Exits and alternative routes: always know all possible exits from home and work. Try to discover exits that can be of use to you in case of an emergency.
Identify all possible ways to escape from the building: Know where the switches for turning off electricity, water and gas are located and how they work.
Take special measures
Elderly, disabled or people on medication: These people may have difficulty moving in the event of an earthquake. Make sure that someone is available to help them leave the area in case of an emergency. They may also need special diet and medication. Be sure to obtain these special supplies.
Pets: It is a good idea to have food stocked for pets as well. After the earthquake, put them in a safe place. You may not be allowed to keep them in the camps.
Know your neighborhood: Know where the nearest police station and fire station are located.
Know your neighbors and your capabilities. You may be able to help each other after an earthquake.
Meeting plan: Make a plan for where and how family members will meet. Choose one person with whom the family will contact if they are separated. Do not use the telephone immediately after the earthquake, except for calls of absolute necessity.
Make a plan with family, friends, and neighbors, assigning specific responsibilities to each person, depending on where each may be located.
You need to find a spot outside the house where family members can leave messages. That way, if you get separated and can’t stay home, your family will know where to find you. You don’t have to communicate the fact that you are not home. For this reason, this place should be safe and hidden, e.g. in a box, under a rock, etc.
Immediately after the earthquake, your phones will probably not work. This may be due to damage to the exchange or lines.
The first cause of malfunctioning phones is when many people use them at the same time. But we need to reduce our slopes if we want the network to work. However, if you do manage to get a line, be brief.
It is also important to be aware of the possibility of aftershocks. Aftershocks are smaller earthquakes that occur after the main earthquake and can cause additional damage. Therefore, it is important to stay inside the home for at least an hour after the earthquake occurs to avoid the potential dangers of aftershocks.
Finally, it is vital to be aware of potential tsunamis after an earthquake in Cyprus. Tsunamis can be caused by the displacement of large amounts of water and can cause significant damage. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the potential for tsunamis if an earthquake occurs in a coastal area.
Earthquakes are unpredictable and can strike at any time, so it is important to be prepared. Knowing what to look out for and following the steps above can help you take the necessary Earthquake Safety Measures in Cyprus.
When it comes to protecting your home and family from natural disasters, Home insurance is one of the most important types of coverage you can get in Cyprus.
Contact today with Mr. Charalambos Agathaggelou in Paphos, and find more about Home insurance, and all the insurance plans that can protect YOU, your FAMILY, and your PROPERTY.