Sunday, August 07, 2022

No one can yet predict earthquakes., but we can plan and read all the below..

Earthquake Planning and After!

During recent years the ANPC (Autoridade Nacional de Proteção Civil - The National Authority for Civil Protection) carried out training sessions in Portuguese schools with the children and handed out leaflets. The following information has been compiled from the leaflet and from their website.

ANPC advises planning and self-help measures to minimize the effects of earthquakes.

ANPC now has an alert system that send SMS messages to all mobile phones in the country. This has already been used for Severe Weather Warning and for Covid 19 Alerts. This includes foreign phones registered on Portuguese Networds, so if you are visiting you still get the arterts.

BEFORE - Planning

- Learn about the causes and possible effects of an earthquake in your area. Talk about it with family and friends.
If you are near the coast find out what Tsunami warning system there is.
- Find out if your home and workplace are located in a seismic zone of risk. If you live near the coast check on what altitude is situated on the sea level, may be important in the event of a tsunami.
- Develop an emergency plan for your family. Make sure all family members know what to do in the event of an earthquake. Agree a meeting place in case family members are separated during an earthquake.
- Prepare your home in order to facilitate movement in the event that earthquake, releasing the corridors and passages, arranging furniture and toys, etc. ..
- Keep a flashlight, a portable radio and extra batteries for both, as well as a fire extinguisher (check the expiration date) and a first aid kit.
- Identify the safest places and the most dangerous places, within your home or workplace
- Fasten shelves, gas bottles, vases and flowerpots to the walls of your home.
- Place heavy or big objects on the floor or lower shelves.
- Teach all family members how to shut down the electricity, gas and water.
- Store water in sealed plastic containers and canned food for two or three days. Renew them from time to time. Ensure you have sufficient of any current medications that you need.
- Keep your vaccinations and your whole family up to date, including the tetanus vaccine. Consult your health center for more information.
- Have to hand phone numbers for emergency services.
- Keep ready some clothes and sturdy shoes.

Safer places
- Go to Interior doorways, preferably in solid walls.  1755 Lisbon map

- Corners of rooms
- Under tables, beds and other stable surfaces.
- Away from windows, mirrors and fireplaces.
- Out of reach for objects, lamps and furniture that could fall.

Most dangerous places
- Exit doorways
- Near windows, mirrors and fireplaces.
- Near objects, lamps and furniture that could fall.
- In the middle of rooms.
- Lifts.

DURING an Earthquake


- If you are in the upper floors of a building do not rush to the stairs. Take cover in a doorway inside, the corners of rooms or under a desk or bed. Never use lifts.
- Stay away from windows, mirrors and fireplaces. Be careful of falling lamps, furniture or other objects.
- If you are on ground-floor of a building and its street is wide enough (eg, wider than the height of buildings), leave the building and walk calmly to an open place, in the middle of the street.

- Go to an open place. Do not run or walk to wander the streets.
- As long as the quakes continue do not go home.
- Stay clear of buildings, especially old or tall ones, stay away from electricity poles and other objects that may fall over.
- Move away from slopes and walls that could collapse.

(School, auditorium, office building, factory, shop, etc.).
- Do not rush for the exits. The stairs and doors are points that easily fill with debris and can become clogged by people trying to leave the building.
- In the factories stay away from machines that can fall or slip.
- Stay inside the building until the earthquake stops

Exit calmly after taking into account the walls, chimneys, wiring, lamps and other objects that could fall.

- Stop the vehicle away from buildings, walls, embankments, power stations and power lines and stay inside.

THE FIRST MINUTES after an Earthquake:

- Keep calm and wait for the possibility of aftershocks.
- Do not rush for the stairs or exits. Never use elevators.
- Do not smoke or light matches or lighters. There may be gas leaks or short circuits. Use flashlights with batteries.
- Cut off the water, gas and electricity.
- Wear shoes and protect the head and face with a jacket, a blanket, a helmet or a sturdy object and prepare warm clothing if the weather advice.
- Check for injuries and give first aid if known. If there are serious injuries, do not remove them unless they are in danger.
- Check for fires. Try to extinguish them. If you cannot, then alert the fire department.
- Turn on the radio and follow the recommendations that are disseminated.
- Clean urgently any flammable products that have been spilled (alcohol, paints, etc.)..
- If you can, leave the pets. They really can look after  themselves.

- If you live near the coast and feel an earthquake is possible that in the 20 to 30 minutes following a tsunami will occur.
- In case of suspected or tsunami warning scroll immediately to a high area at least 30 meters above sea level, and away from the coast.
- Stay away from beaches and river banks. Never go to a beach to observe an approaching tsunami. If you can see the wave then that means it is too close for you to escape.
- If in a boat head out to sea. A tsunami is only be destructive along the coast where water depth is shallow. Where the sea depth is greater than 150 meters can be considered safe.
- The first wave may be followed by more, equally destructive waves. Keep in a safe place until authorities indicate that there is no longer a danger.

AFTER...In the following hours:

- Remain calm and follow the instructions as the radio broadcast. Be prepared for aftershocks.
- If you find serious injuries, call the rescue teams.
- If there are people buried, tell the rescue teams. However, if it is safe, and you are able to get to them then try to do it by removing the rubble bit by bit. Do not rush, do not aggravate the situation of the injured and do not risk your own safety.
- Stay away from where there are loose electric wires and do not touch metal objects in contact with them.
- Eat something. You will feel better and be able to help others more.
- Calm the children and the elderly. They are the most affected by fear.
- Do not use the telephone except in cases of extreme emergency (serious injuries, gas leaks, fires, etc.)
- Do not spread rumors or unconfirmed reports.
- If your home is too far damaged you will have to leave. If you can then collect the water containers, food, clothing and medicines, that you had pre-prepared.
- Do not reoccupy buildings with major damage, nor go near damaged structures.
- Help where you can and, if possible, work with the rescue teams.
- Do not drive around the streets to see what happened or take photos. Streets need to be clear for use by the emergency services.


Some of this may seem over-the-top but just remember what happened in Japan in 2011. Because they had planned, trained and were prepared, there was much less casualties (28,000) than in the 2004 Sumatra earthquake and tsunami (280,000 casualties).

Also Spain have had their worst Earthquake in 50 years, at Loures (May 2011)

Portugal’s last major earthquake and tsunami was in 1755 which has been estimated at 8.5-9.0 and killed between 10,000 – 100,000 in Lisbon alone, and wiped out almost the whole of Lisbon.

Read more on Wikipedia