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Safety tips: What to do after an earthquake

Evacuees seeking safety at Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City. John Edward @Iamprimarazzi

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Red Cross released a list of safety tips for those affected by the strong earthquake that struck provinces in Visayas and some parts of Mindanao on Tuesday morning 

  • After an earthquake, the disaster may continue. Expect and prepare for potential aftershocks, landslides or even a tsunami. Tsunamis are often generated by earthquakes.
  • Each time you feel an aftershock, drop, cover and hold on. Aftershocks frequently occur minutes, days, weeks and even months following an earthquake.
  • Check yourself for injuries and get First Aid, if necessary, before helping injured or trapped persons.
  • Put on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes and work gloves to protect against injury from broken objects.
  • Look quickly for damage in and around your home and get everyone out if your home is unsafe.
  • Listen to a portable, battery-operated or hand-crank radio for updated emergency information and instructions.
  • Check the telephones in your home or workplace to see if you can get a dial tone. Make brief calls to report life-threatening emergencies.
  • Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake.
  • Clean up spilled medications, bleach, gasoline or other flammable liquids immediately.
  • Open closet and cabinet doors carefully as contents may have shifted.
  • Help people who require special assistance, such as infants, children and the elderly or disabled.
  • Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines and stay out of damaged areas.
  • Keep animals under your direct control.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings.
  • If you were away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so. Use extreme caution and examine walls, floors, doors, staircases and windows to check for damage.
  • Be careful when driving after an earthquake and anticipate traffic light outages.

The Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology Director Renato Solidum said in a press conference following the earthquake that more than 100 aftershocks were recorded three hours after the quake, caused by the movement of the East Bohol Fault.

Related: LIVE updates: The Visayas quake

He warned that ensuing aftershocks may persist for days after the main quake.

"Aftershocks will become weaker. Most will not be felt for months or years," Solidum said.

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