I felt the earth move under my feet………………..

Photo source: The Age News Paper

Just before 9.00 pm last night, our house shook… windows and doors rattled. The tremor was very strong and immediately I realized that it was an earthquake. I screamed: “Earthquake! Earthquake!”…. but instead of getting out of the house, we were too stunned to do anything. We also heard a strange noise like a very strong wind while there was no wind at all. It lasted about 30 seconds.

The epicenter of the 5.3 eartquake was 16 km southwest of the town Moe, at La Trobe Valley in Eastern Victoria. The tremors could be felt all over Melbourne and the surrounding area. There were reports of crack walls in some of houses and buildings. Shops in Moe and Warragul had some of the stuffs thrown on the floor.

It was one of the few biggest earthquakes in Australia in recent years. Though the experts claimed that major earthquakes will unlikely happen in Australia, but only the good Lord knows! Last year’s earthquake was 4.4 and this year was 5.3….. we will never know how big is the next one!!! It is better to know what to do if an earthquake strikes.

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What to Do During an Earthquake

  • Stay calm! If you’re indoors, stay inside. If you’re outside, stay outside.
  • If you’re indoors, stand against a wall near the center of the building, stand in an inside doorway, or crawl under heavy furniture (a desk or table). Stay away from windows and outside doors.
  • If you’re outdoors, stay in the open away from power lines or anything that might fall. Stay away from buildings (stuff might fall off the building or the building could fall on you).
  • Don’t use matches, candles, or any flame. Broken gas lines and fire don’t mix.
  • If you’re in a car, stop the car and stay inside the car until the earthquake stops.
  • Don’t use elevators (they’ll probably get stuck anyway).

What to Do After an Earthquake

  • Check yourself and others for injuries. Provide first aid for anyone who needs it.
  • Check water, gas, and electric lines for damage. If any are damaged, shut off the valves. Check for the smell of gas. If you smell it, open all the windows and doors, leave immediately, and report it to the authorities (use someone else’s phone).
  • Turn on the radio. Don’t use the phone unless it’s an emergency.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings.
  • Be careful around broken glass and debris. Wear boots or sturdy shoes to keep from cutting your feet.
  • Be careful of chimneys (they may fall on you).
  • Stay away from beaches. Tsunamis sometimes hit after the ground has stopped shaking.
  • Stay away from damaged areas.
  • If you’re at school or work, follow the emergency plan or the instructions of the person in charge.
  • Expect aftershocks.

NOTE – July 20, 2012:

Last night around 7.11 pm, there was an aftershock measuring 4.3 Richter Scale…. It rattled our weatherboard house. After around 200 aftershocks which mostly were too small to notice, what happened last night was a surprise!!