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What should you do in case of an earthquake to save your life?

Yesterday morning, on February 6, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey and northern Syria. According to the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the quake was the worst disaster to hit the country since 1939. Seismic tremors of magnitudes 2 to 3 were also recorded in Kazakhstan. The number of known disaster victims has already exceeded 5,000.

Information has been spread over the Internet that tremors could also be felt in Ukraine.

Sadly, an earthquake cannot be prevented. However, you can save your life and health by following a set of rules. The main one is not to panic. This will increase your survival chances significantly.

What to do during an earthquake:

  • keep calm, don’t panic;
  • act immediately once you’ve felt the ground or building shaking; the primary danger is from falling objects or fragments;
  • if you’re on the first or second floor, promptly leave the building and go to an open area;
  • if you’re higher than the second floor, immediately leave the corner room;
  • if you’re inside a building, move to a safer place;
  • stand in the inside doorway or in a corner of a room, away from windows and heavy objects;
  • don't rush to the stairs or elevator if you’re in a high-rise building above the fifth floor. The exit will be crowded, and elevators won’t work;
  • leave the house quickly but carefully. Beware falling fragments, live wires, and other hazards;
  • stay away from high structures, overpasses, bridges, and power lines;
  • if you’re driving, stop, open the door, and stay in the car until the tremors are over;
  • check if there are injured people around you, call the rescuers, and give them first aid if possible.

What to do if you’re trapped under the rubble after an earthquake

First of all, you need to assess the situation. However stressed or scared you might be, try not to let panic take control of you.

  • The main thing is, don’t stop calling for help.
  • After you’ve been heard, you need to wait until the blockage is cleared.
  • If you’re not heard, try to rescue yourself. However, don’t make sudden movements. Try to assess what you can see and what has fallen.
  • While clearing the blockage, it’s extremely important not to touch the elements that hold the whole structure.
  • If it’s impossible to get out on your own, don’t give up trying to make yourself heard: call, shout, or loudly knock on the pipes.

Earthquake in Turkey: contact information for Ukrainians

According to Vasyl Bodnar, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Turkey, Ukrainians can call the following numbers for all the necessary information:

  • + 90 539 550 98 98 (embassy hotline);
  • + 38 044 338 15 88 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs hotline).
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