Saturday, 31 July 2021

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Victoria can and has experienced earthquakes, and it is possible for larger earthquakes to occur than have been previously recorded.

An earthquake is the shaking and vibration of the surface of the earth caused by underground movement along an earthquake fault. Earthquake magnitude is measured using the Richter scale.

There is no accepted method to predict earthquakes, however, some regions are more prone to earthquakes than others due to their location in proximately to earthquake faults.

Unlike other countries such as Japan, New Zealand and Indonesia, Australia does not lie in close proximity to a tectonic plate boundary where large earthquakes can occur. However, communities in Australia can still experience damaging and deadly earthquakes. For example, the Newcastle 1989 earthquake in which 13 people died and a further 160 were injured. This earthquake measured 5.6 on the Richter scale.

Be Prepared

    Know your local area, particularly if there is a history of earthquakes.
    Have an emergency kit and plan. Ensure the kit contains a battery operated radio, torch and spare batteries.
    Keep a list of emergency numbers handy.

If an earthquake occurs

If inside

    Take cover under a sturdy desk, table or bench, or against an inside wall and hold on. If there is no desk or table near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
    Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures and furniture.
    If you are in bed when an earthquake strikes stay there. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
    Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Most injuries during earthquakes occur when people are hit by falling objects while entering or leaving buildings.
    Be aware that electricity may go out.
    Do not use elevators.
If you are outdoors
    Stay there
    Move away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and powerlines
If in a vehicle
    Stop in an open area and listen to your car radio for advice

After an Earthquake
    Expect aftershocks
    Keep your radio tuned to local media
    Keep an active watch for hazards and check for injuries or damage
    Check for cracks and damage in roof, walls and chimneys
    Avoid driving unless for an emergency Ė donít go sightseeing
    If damage is evident switch off electricity, gas and water and evacuate the building
    Stay clear of fallen powerlines
    Stay calm and help others if possible

If you require emergency assistance call VICSES on 132 500. If the situation is life threatening call 000.

Further information

Further information about earthquakes and how to be safe can be found on the following websites: extract from website

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