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Earthquakes

Earthquake Action Manual

Japan is a country prone to earthquakes. They can strike anywhere and at anytime.
Sometimes, earthquakes also give rise to tsunamis. It is important to have disaster prevention measures in place on a routine basis, in order to lessen damage in the event of an earthquake.

Earthquake Action Manual: By Elapsed Time

At Occurance

  • Protect yourself, go under a sturdy table.
  • Do not run outside in panic.
  • Do not try and put out difficult fires.

Once the shaking has subsided

  • People in areas in danger of a tsunami or landslide, evacuate immediately.

0-5 mins later

  • Secure the safety of your family and extinguish fires, being careful of broken glass and fallen furniture.

5-10 mins later

  • Secure an emergency exit, take along an emergency kit.
  • Close all gas valves and flip off electricity breakers.
  • Listen to information on the radio, etc.

10 mins to half a day later

  • Check on your neighbors, especially those who require assistance during emergencies.
  • Prevent the spread of fires and help injured persons.
  • If there is a danger of your house collapsing, evacuate to an evacuation shelter or area.
  • Confirm the safety of relatives not currently with you (use Emergency Message Hotlines or Messageboards).

Half a day to 3 days later

  • Prepare some bare necessities to last a few days. After an earthquake, water, gas, electricity and phone lines will be temporarily unusable. There will also be a shortage of food. Always have an emergency ration of food prepared.

【During the Great Hanshin/Awaji Earthquake, it took 1 week for electricity, 2 weeks for phone lines and 3 months for gas and water to resume proper operations.】

Safety Measures In The Home

1. Create a safe space in your home as a refuge from danger.

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2. Do not place furniture in bedrooms or in rooms with children or the elderly. It becomes a hazard if an earthquake strikes while people are sleeping. This could stop children, the elderly or the invalid from escaping.

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3. It is dangerous if large pieces of furniture fall over in an earthquake, causing injury. You should make it difficult for furniture to tip over, such as anchoring it using anti-tip devices.

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4. To enable people to evacuate safely, do not place objects in exits or along passageways. If various objects are placed in a passageway leading up to the front door or other exit, they may block the way in an emergency.

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Preparing For Tsunamis

1. Move to a high place, away from the coast
If you feel an earthquake, you should evacuate to a place that is “higher”—not necessarily “further”—from the coast.

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2. Don't let down your guard, even in a small tremor
The intensity (shindo) and size (magnitude) of an earthquake are separate issues. Even a small tremor might be of a magnitude that produces a large tsunami.

3. Watch out for tsunamis, even if the tide does not recede
Tsunamis are not necessarily preceded by a low tide. Depending on how an earthquake strikes and the topography near the epicenter, the tide may not recede first.

4. Tsunamis can strike more than once
Tsunamis can make landfall two or three times. Do not relax after the first tsunami. You should remain alert until the waves calm down.。

5. Tsunamis travel at great speed
Some tsunamis come so quickly that “tsunami advisories” and “warnings” cannot be issued in time. You should evacuate without delay.

6. Act calmly with the right information
You should get accurate information from the radio, TV and disaster PA radio network, etc.