Monday, January 4, 2016

North-East earthquake experience on Jan 4, 2016 : The need for the practical education of disaster management

Ah, the second earthquake of my lifetime that I felt. And this one was powerful.

A few facts beforehand, I study in Silchar, and the epicenter of the 6.7 magnitude earthquake was just around 200 km away. That's why, as I said, it was powerful.

I was sleeping in my dorm room, but suddenly my eyes opened. I could feel myself shaking on the bed quite heavily. A distant light also seemed to be moving a lot. Microseconds later, I noticed voice of Pranav, my roomie, shouting of the earthquake, and so was the other roomie.

And I, without any sleepers and coat in this winter time hopelessly ran for the main gate. But is it all?!

No, that's not why I wrote this blog. I wrote it because I chose the worst possible path to escape the building. Had the building fallen, I was certainly going to be badly injured, in worst case, I won't be alive to write all my stupidity.

So, I ran thorough the narrow corridor of atleast 100 meters before reaching the main gate. And that was really too much, plus I didn't even consider that the building might fall.

What I could have done?! Well, firstly I should have waited beneath the table or bed till the earthquake stopped. I rather chose to run, as soon as I got to know it was an earthquake. That was the first stupidity.

Secondly, I ran more than 100 meters to reach the main gate. Guess what?! I have a balcony attached to my room, and my room is on ground floor. The safe zone was at most few meters away from me, but I rather foolishly chose the distant one, and that too this much.

All this made me accept that I am stupid, and foolish, and seriously a hell lot of foolish. But I feel it is good to accept all this and not to repeat the same hurried actions again, rather than repeat all this.

Remember, luck favors the bold !

Further, I noticed after the incident, that most of the students were just like me, stupid and ignorant, whether they accept it or not. This brings to attention the need to provide practical education of disaster management, to one and all.

We, as students, only learned the theory for this, and that too as a secondary subject. Not much importance is given to this subject, mainly to the practical aspects, in India. People sitting in the education ministry should take note of this, and I say all this with the Indian education in primary focus.

Till the next earthquake or any such natural disaster hits me, I would love to know more of what to do before, during and after such events, and I am surely going to know that, learn that, and be prepared, so that even if the luck choose to go against me the next time, I have my knowledge to keep me alive !

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