What todo when next BIG quake hits?(coming soon so they say)

[Title edited around 13:50 Sat]

Is the next BIG earthquake just around the corner?
All these stories of supposedly quake-sensitive eels jumping out of their tank has got the media speculating that another 921 is brewing. My wife is a nervous wreck. She’s walking round like the sky is going to fall down any minute.

On a practical note, what’s the best thing to do when the world starts ashaking?

  1. Stand in a doorway.
  2. Do not stand in a doorway.
  3. Hide under a table, wok on head.
  4. Go outside.
  5. Stay indoors, but go downstairs.
  6. Stay indoors, but go upstairs to the roof if possible.
  7. Head between the knees joke.

After seeing so many three- or four-storey houses in Dali (Taichung County), near where I live, pancaked down to the first (ground) floor my instinct is to rush upstairs instead of downstairs to the outside.

I have a pciture of a kindergarten in Taichung City with the second floor where the first floor should have been. If the quake had occurred in the day…Shudder. That place was bulldozed within two days. I guess the owners didn’t want any investigation into the safety of the building. None of the other buildings nearby collapsed.

I digress; comments and advice about the next BIG ONE welcomed, including the exact date, time and location. Cheers.

“The future’s uncertain and the end is always near…”

Yeah, that helps.

Yeah, that helps.[/quote]

Well what did you want? Speculation?

Dammit, that’s what I was thinking :laughing:. When in earthquake country, expect quakes. Some are small, some are big, but they all cause the ground to move around. Moving ground sometimes causes building collapses and death. Personally, I think the odds are much higher that a person will die in a traffic accident than in an earthquake (I’d be curious to know how many people have died in traffic accidents in the last 20 years as compared to how many people died in earthquakes, including 921…suspectum that the traffic fatalities are higher).

Yeah, that helps.[/quote]

Well what did you want? Speculation?[/quote]

Some practical advice, or interesting comments.

The last big one in 921 happened after another big earthquake in Turkey or Mexico. I think it was the tectonic plates readjusting itself.

My advice?

Move to Tainan.

Safest place on the island when the big one hits.

I guess Kenting would be OK, too. Probably Kaohsiung, maybe Pingtung.

OK, I see things have started to get silly already. Oh well.

Actually, I just want to know what the current recommendations are regarding where to stand inside a building when an earthquake occurs. Some people say you must stand in a doorway, whereas others say this is the worst place to stand. Advice given on the Internet seems conflicting too. zenmeban?

Well, this isn’t good news. Almas john wrote in Formosan Odyssey (which I, unlike the wolfmaster, very much enjoyed) about the animals getting freaked out prior to 921. I’ve not heard anything about eels jumping, but I’ll check about.

I’m on the second floor of a four story building. I’ve got a large, strong wooden desk in my office. I suppose I’d grab the girlfriend and hide under the desk, preferably with a bottle of water and a cell phone, if I get that much time. Hope I’ve taken my morning, er, constitutional, before it hits.

If I felt like I had time, I would sprint for the nearby park, where, I’m not likely to be hit by a falling building.

I’ll do as I did with the previous one. Have a few beers just before it hits so you have to wonder if you’re drunk or a quake just hit. Then go to bed. Never mind running outside.

That time a friend from the home country was visiting and we had “a few” beers. He went to bed just before the quake hit and I was still in the living room as it went of, lights out, a big rumble and everything started shaking.

Went to my friends room to see if he was OK. Well he was but I guess a little drunk because too as he asked me if a typhoon just hit. Well…

Anyway, I went to bed, my wife woke up wondering what happened and went back to sleep. We didn’t bother running outside. The aftershocks where pretty amusing lying in bed. At around 6:00 A.M. my mother called and told me that there was a lot of damage due the quake, they had seen it on TV in Europe ann we didn’t know anything yet due the the power outage.

For three and more years after 921, the first thing I always did when I felt an earthquake was grab and don a crash-helmet. I even kept a spare one within hand’s reach by my bed in case a quake struck during the night.

But in the last year or so, since I moved into what I hope is a much more quake-resistant steel-framed apartment building, I’ve become a lot more complacent, and even leave my helmet with my scooter 19 floors below me in the basement. Perhaps I should revive that earlier habit and keep a few helmets scattered here and there around the new flat.

As the ol’ pendulum swings, the next big one will surely be on the other side of the 'Rim. Vancouver island, Lower mainland, Cali. That’s why I moved here!

The worst ever earthquake in North America didn’t happen anywhere near the West Coast. In the early 19th century, the Really Big One hit from Kansas to Mississippi to Illinois. No one knows when the New Madrid Fault Line will act up again. For the past couple of centuries it’s been pretty dormant, but it could unpredictably strike anytime…

Well I was just kidding and I don’t know $hit. I don’t think science will ever accurately predict where the next one will hit. This ol’ Planet has a way of shrugging her shoulders in entirely unexpected ways, killing thousands of us parasites. I chose not to worry about it. I guess those of you who were here when the last “Big One” hit have a bit more to worry about, having built lives and families here. Today, I have nothing.

One would think that a doorway is covered by a stronger beam but the way they construct here I don’t think that really applies, in particular big (office) buildings are made from a steelbar skeleton which are much stronger than your typical doorway (concrete) beam.
I probably would jump for cover under a table should things start falling down, a crash helmet or hard hat would be benefitial if you can get hold of one in time.
Anyhow, I trust that buildings which are old and still stand are not going to collapse - no guarantee for that but I see no point to worry or panic even. I work on the 16th floor and live on the 11th - so it’s unlikely that I can make it out in time but certainly I am not going to drive myself crazy about it. Because if you want to be sure that you won’t get hit move to somewhere where they don’t have earthquakes - even you consider that silly. (If you want to stay in Taiwan I suggest Matsu or Kinmen :wink: )

Well, I did my own research on the internet after I experienced my first quake here (that noticeable one… late Nov?) and, echoing Rascal, it said the doorway thing is really only for those really old, like, mud-brick buildings and not relevant to the majority of buildings today. Besides, I tried that during the first quake because it’s all I could remember and just felt stupid :slight_smile:

I believe current recommendations are to cower… ahem… “take refuge” under a heavy piece of furniture, such as a sturdy table, have plenty of water, food etc. on hand, watch out for gas leaks and hope for the best. I really try not to think about it too much :s

spack, put away your worry beads. after the 921 quake here in 1999, there will not be another Big One until at least 2075.

you be dead by then, by other means.

don’t worry. you are safe on Taiwan Island