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Earthquakes

EARTHQUAKES

 

Seismic activity in the North Burnett does occur, however it is generally at very low levels with little community impact. Some small earthquakes have rattled windows and crockery, but none have been powerful enough to cause structural damage.

While the risk is low, it is important to be aware of this seismic activity in our region. Unfortunately, there are no preventative measures for earthquakes, but you can put plans in place in the event one does occur. Please refer to Council's booklet "Preparing For Disasters" for further information.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EARTHQUAKES

Earthquakes occur within the North Burnett more often than you would think.  In recent history earthquakes have been located within rural areas of North Burnett and have not caused damage to property or put lives at risk.  It is important for you and your family to be familiar with the dangers associated with Earthquakes and what to do should an earthquake occur.

Earthquakes are unpredictable and strike without warning. They range in strength from slight tremors to great shocks lasting from a few seconds to a few minutes.  The magnitude of an earthquake is recorded by a seismograph using the Richter Scale.

EARTHQUAKES CAN CAUSE:

• Damage to the electricity network causing fallen power lines and telephone lines;
• Broken or split sewer and water mains;
• Roads and bridges can be damaged and be unsafe to drive on;
• Landslides;
• Buildings can be destroyed or become unstable and unsafe.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREPARE FOR EARTHQUAKES?

Although earthquakes are unpredictable and can happen at any time there are still things you can do to prepare yourself should an earthquake hit.
• Find out how and where to turn off power, gas and water supplies;
• Prepare your Household Emergency Plan and make sure everyone understands what is in it (Fact Sheet 1).  This includes a list of emergency phone numbers;
• Prepare your Emergency Kit and make sure it is stocked (Fact Sheet 2);
• Identify your safe areas for during an earthquake. These include under a door frame, table or bench;
• Check that you have adequate household and contents insurance and which hazards are not covered by the policy.

WHAT CAN YOU DO WHEN AN EARTHQUAKE STRIKES?

• If you are indoors - stay there (clear of falling debris outside). Keep clear of windows and overhead fittings. Shelter under and hold onto a door frame, strong table or bench.
• If outside, keep well clear of buildings, overhead structures, walls, bridges, powerlines, trees etc.
• In a vehicle, stop in an open area until shaking stops.  Beware of fallen powerlines and road damage, including overpasses and bridges and listen to your car radio for warnings before moving.

WHAT CAN YOU DO AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE PASSES?

• Expect aftershocks
• Listen to your local radio station and heed warnings and advice on damage and service disruptions (Fact Sheet 5)
• Turn off electricity and water.  Check for broken water, sewerage or electrical mains and report to Council or Ergon Energy
• Check for cracks and damage to the roof and evacuate the building if it is badly damaged.
• Avoid driving unless for emergency (to keep the streets free for emergency services)
• Do not go sightseeing or enter damaged buildings.