Only a small fraction of our total building stock will collapse. Your danger is reduced if you are in a newer or retrofitted structure located far from the epicenter. During an earthquake, the greatest safety precaution is to drop, cover, and hang on until the shaking stops.
Modern buildings are designed to withstand an earthquake's force, so they should be able not only to stand but also to provide shelter. However, because many older buildings were not constructed with stability in mind, they may suffer major damage during an earthquake.
Even if your building is structurally sound, it may be difficult or even impossible to escape through some openings such as windows or doors. You should therefore try to remain inside until after the shock has passed.
It is important to understand that although modern buildings can stand up to earthquakes, they cannot protect you from the effects of falling objects or debris generated by the quake. Thus, you should avoid going outside during an earthquake unless you have to.
If you are caught outdoors during an earthquake, stay away from unstable buildings and other potential hazards. If necessary, seek out safer ground using the nearest available high point.
An earthquake can cause pipes to break, causing water to spill or drain into unknown locations. Turn off the main line to your property to prevent excessive flooding. A broken gas line can lead to fire.
If an earthquake strikes and you are in the top floor of a structure, do not attempt to evacuate. When the earthquake ends, take your shoes and money and exit the building. During an earthquake, it is recommended to be outside and away from structures. Seismologists say that people who stay in elevated buildings have a greater chance of being killed by falling debris or by the collapse of the building.
The best option if you are in a high-rise building is to find safe ground as quickly as possible. If there is no other option, then seek out an interior room on the lowest level possible. Avoid the elevators at any cost; they are extremely dangerous during earthquakes. The last thing you want to do is go up or down when the ground is moving under your feet!
If you are in a tall building before the earthquake hits, you may be able to see lights going out around the city. This is normal during an earthquake and does not mean that something bad else has happened.
After the earthquake, wait until the all-clear signal is given before entering buildings. Do not assume that just because a door is open that someone is inside. Check each room carefully before entering to make sure that it is safe.
It can cause damage to a number of well-built structures, although earthquake-resistant structures will sustain only minor or moderate damage. It may be felt for hundreds of kilometres from the epicenter. The majority of buildings have been damaged, and the majority of those in bad condition will at least partially fall. Buildings have been severely damaged, and there has been a great deal of destruction. Many large buildings have collapsed, causing deaths and injuries.
The damage done to buildings is dependent on many factors such as the type of building, its age, how strong it was built, etc. However, there are some general rules that can be used to predict how much damage might be done to a building.
If a building is made of concrete, then it can break apart under the force of an earthquake. Concrete tends to fracture along its grain, which is the direction in which it was placed in the mold. Large pieces of concrete may separate from the structure entirely, while smaller fragments may be driven into adjacent materials. Damage typically occurs where there are openings, such as windows and doors, because these create weak points in the structure. The amount of damage caused by this mechanism depends on several factors including the size of the opening, the distance between openings, and the quality of construction. For example, poorly constructed concrete structures with few internal supports will tend to collapse under the force of an earthquake.
If a building is made of steel, then it will most likely withstand an earthquake without significant damage.