Frightening earthquakes like the one in Afghanistan | OPINION

My friend, photographer Gary, came to the restaurant for a vegetable soup with minced chicken, beans with fried fish and hot tea to drink. “Maria, on Tuesday an earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale killed more than a thousand people in Afghanistan.

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It is believed that in the next few hours the figure will increase, as many are missing and the authorities have not yet reached inaccessible countries. From Peru, that magnitude seems small, used to having earthquakes of over 7 degrees, like the one in Pisco in 2007, which devastated that city, as well as neighboring Ica and Chincha, among others.

Therefore, according to the Institute of Civil Protection, at least in Lima nor there is a great earthquake 200 years ago. Unfortunately, our country is located within the so-called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, characterized by the concentration of some of the most important and active seismic and volcanic regions in the world.

In the capital, many people build on the pampas or hills without the supervision of an architect or civil engineer. Millions of people hire just a bricklayer or foreman to build their homes, some up to three stories high.

There are areas in Callao, Rímac, La Victoria or Barrios Altos with a high concentration of ancient quincha and adobe buildings, which are in poor condition not only for lack of maintenance, but also for humidity and long years.

To my great regret, I must admit that hardly anyone respects and follows the exercises devised by Indeci. If someone were to go out on the street to ask pedestrians what was in an “emergency backpack”, very few would answer. Here are some tips for you:

BEFORE THE EARTHQUAKE

  • Locate safe areas and solid structures to protect yourself.
  • Have an emergency backpack ready.
  • Educate the children in your home about precautionary measures.
  • Hire an engineer to strengthen your home.

DURING THE EARTHQUAKE

  • Keep calm. Fear can only paralyze you or make you make mistakes.
  • Stay away from windows and objects that can fall.
  • If you don’t get to the exit quickly, find a safe space.
  • Don’t call on the phone. The line will be overloaded, so you’d better write.
  • Don’t use the elevator. “Wow, how strong it is. I’m leaving, be careful.

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