Triangle of life or Drop, Cover and Hold ?

We publish this article of the New Zealand Civil Defense Emergency Management to make sure that people will follow the right protection guidelines and to avoid the always returning confusion on what to do when an earthquake strikes.

The advice from civil defense and The NZ Society for Earthquake Engineering comes in response to a widely circulated email by a self-professed rescue expert.
Information on “Triangle of Life” in the email contradicts current advice on what to do in an earthquake.
Although the email source has been discredited in the US, where it originated, the emails have been virulent enough to create some public concern both in the US and in New Zealand.

Standard advice in New Zealand for what to do in an earthquake is to drop, take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture, and hold on, or shelter against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases etc. That advice still holds true and has not changed says John Hamilton, the Director of Civil Defense  Emergency Management.
“This practice will protect people in most earthquake scenarios.
This is the drill practiced by schoolchildren, and what civil defense agencies have consistently promoted around the country.”
“In a severe earthquake it is absolutely vital that people respond immediately. Confusion about what to do can result in people getting seriously injured or killed.”
“Our advice is to identify safe places in your home, office or school before an earthquake so that when the shaking starts you can respond quickly.”
“An immediate response to move to the safe place can save lives. And that safe place should be within a few steps or two meters to avoid injury from flying debris,” says Mr Hamilton.

Graeme Beattie, who is president of the NZ Society for Earthquake Engineering and is a structural engineer at the Building Research Association of NZ, says that each year about 70 damaging earthquakes occur throughout the world.
New Zealand experiences hundreds of earthquakes every year but most of these are either very deep in the earth’s crust or centered well offshore, and cause little damage or injury. But over 100 quakes a year are big enough to be felt, and a severe one can occur at any time.
“The 1931 magnitude 7.8 Hawke’s Bay earthquake caused significant damage and resulted in the introduction of the first New Zealand earthquake resistant design standards.”
In New Zealand we are fortunate to have sound building codes and earthquake resilient structures and can have some level of confidence in our buildings.”
“But we know from recent international tragedies such as the ones in Kobe, Japan in 1995, and in Taiwan in 1998, that the best building codes in the world do nothing for buildings built before modern codes were enacted. Fixing problems in older buildings – retrofitting – is in most cases the responsibility of the building’s owner. However, small improvements can make big differences.”
“Ground vibrations during an earthquake are seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake related injuries and deaths result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects caused by the ground shaking,” says Mr Beattie.


Christchurch earthquake : internationally forgottten, but still shaking constantly

Although the current aftershocks are not mentioned anymore in the USGS and EMSC charts, the inhabitants of Christchurch are still living under the constant threat of a major aftershock and are experiencing many moderate earthquakes every couple of hours.
People who want to see the strength of the quakes can consult them here.
An even more better view can be seen in our dynamic seismograph mapping by the GNS Science, the New Zealand Authority who is following carefully all tectonic activity.
The Magnitude aspect can reveal how powerful an earthquake is, but every earthquake will be felt differently.
The duration of the shaking and a number of additional factors are as important as the Magnitude. The map hereunder is showing very well that 2 aftershocks are lasting a lot longer than all others.
The most powerful aftershocks are mostly located in the Darfield area.

Seismograph cutout of aftershocks on September 12

Earthquakes list September 12, 2010

M 4.1      2010/09/12 20:09    Depth 5.0 km     WYOMING, USA
Feeble earthquake in Teton National Forest, 40 km from Jackson. This time in a slightly different area than a couple of weeks ago.

M 5.2      2010/09/12 16:35    Depth 36.8 km      MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
Location of the epicenter has a big error margin. About 30 km out of the coast.

M 4.7      2010/09/12 14:41    Depth 58.2 km     KURIL ISLANDS
On top of the subduction area near the Kuril Kamchatka trench. Not dangerous

M 4.9      2010/09/12 13:01    Depth 27.9 km     EASTERN KAZAKHSTAN

Moderate earthquake in virgin like nature. Only nomads will have felt this earthquake.

M 5.0      2010/09/12 09:10    Depth 135.1 km     NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Only 5 km from the beaches of Duke of York Island, and also close to the eastern shores of New Britain Island.  The area is a very complicated tectonic zone wit a lot of subduction zones. Earthquakes with this Magnitude are mostly harmless. The main dangers can come from local tsunamis generated by undersea landslides in the trenches which are clearly visible on this satellite picture

M 5.4      2010/09/12 07:40    Depth 48.9 km     ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN IS., ALASKA
A very active earthquake area in a distant but beautiful area of Alaska. 50 km from Tanaga Volcano.

M 4.8      2010/09/12 07:05    Depth 34.6 km     SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
One of a number of earthquakes in the same subduction area. Nearest island : Niuatoputapu (Tonga). One of the villages on the island (Falehau) was extensively damaged by a tsunami after a M 8.0 earthquake struck the Samoan Islands area on September 29 2009. Panoramio picture of the shores of Falehau

M 5.3      2010/09/12 06:00    Depth 10.0 km     BALLENY ISLANDS REGION

Epicenter in the Southern Ocean. The 3th moderate earthquake in a couple of days in the same area

M 5.3      2010/09/12 06:00   Depth 10.1 km     SOUTH OF AUSTRALIA
In the Southern Sea, closer to Antarctica then to Australia and New Zealand

M 4.6      2010/09/12 05:25   Depth 199.8 km      NICARAGUA
Deep harmless earthquake on the shores of Lago de Nicaragua, 40 km from Rivas

seismograph - recordingUseful information to read this daily earthquake list
This earthquake list covers minor and major earthquakes in the world.
If a more detailed page is present, the earthquake line will be linked to the detailed page.
For your comfort, we will provide in most cases Google Satellite Map links to give you an idea where the earthquake struck, which terrain it happened and if villages or cities are located in the immediate vicinity. The reference for the time zone is UTC (Coordinated Universal Time, also called GMT)
The page is regularly updated to add new earthquakes.
green color = NOT dangerous for damage or injuries
orange color = MODERATE risk for damage or injuries
red color = CONSIDERABLE risk for damage or injuries

QuakeSOS has been developed to help actively people who are caught in an earthquake + delivers "Earthquake Report" information on your iPhoneQuakeSOS is a FREE iPhone application developed by Armand Vervaeck, the creator and main contributor to Earthquake Report. The Application simplifies immediate group communication to friends and family members (with your exact GPS location) and is constantly feeding the users with “Earthquake Report” news. Together with your own family and friends, QuakeSOS will be your closest earthquake friend.

%d bloggers like this: