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Civil Defense on alert after the earthquakes-What is the Enceladus Plan

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Σε επιφυλακ η Πολιτικor Αμυνα μετα τους σεισμ οΙς-Τι εΙναι το ΣχΕδιο ΕγκΕλαδος

The Civil Defense is on high alert after the successive strong earthquakes that occurred in the last twenty-four hours, centered on south-eastern Turkey, which were felt even in Cyprus and resulted in thousands of dead and injured, while rescue operations for those affected by the seismic tremors. 

Since yesterday morning, when the seismic tremors were felt in Cyprus, a panic was caused among the citizens, with the Civil Defense rushing to calm the public, as there is no cause for concern at this stage, while at the same time, the members of the Service are on standby, with the England Plan. 

According to the Press representative of the Civil Defense, Panagiotis Liasidis, from the first moment the earthquakes were felt in Cyprus, “as Civil Defense we had communication with the Police Departments and the Coast Guard, without there being any incident. Certainly, people are worried about earthquakes, especially those who are in tall buildings, so we have immediately proceeded to inform the public about what to do in the event of an earthquake, because it is very important for every citizen to know how it must react in case of an earthquake”. 

At the same time, as Mr. Liasidis explained, there is the anti-seismic code, in which all the specifications issued by the EU are followed. “We consider that our buildings are durable, but certainly in the event of a major earthquake, we don't know what will happen.”

It is noteworthy, however, that the Enceladus Plan is also being prepared, which is to be implemented in the event of a strong earthquake. “Civil Defense closely monitors the situation and at the same time, there is also the England Plan, which involves all the essential services of the state, which is reviewed regularly, every one to two years  and if anything happens, we will operate according to the Plan”.

Essentially, in the event of a serious earthquake, states the Civil Defense and distinguishes that the state needs to take on additional functions, then it is implemented in the Plan. “Based on the Plan, a coordination center is set up in each province, under the supervision of the Prefect and controlled at the Pan-Cypriot level by the Minister of the Interior together with the commander of the Civil Defense. In each province, people from all essential services take part in the operations and depending on the situation an assessment is made and we take the necessary measures”.

The guidelines in case of an earthquake

With regard to prevention in the event of an earthquake, the Civil Defense recommends that, as at home, office and school, shelves and bookcases should be firmly fixed to the walls, tall furniture, which can be moved and block any exits, should be moved away from the doors. escape routes, placing large and heavy objects lower on the shelves and anything else that can fall and break, move heavy objects away from beds and sofas, mark now which are the safest places at home, at school, in the area work or employment to take refuge in in the event of an earthquake: under sturdy tables, desks or desks, away from glass surfaces and bookcases, away from external walls.

He also recommends securing the water heater well and the fuel and water tanks, fixing the lights and ceiling fans well, checking the correct operation of the supply network of electricity and natural gas.

At the same time, he recommends that the public inform their family members and office staff how to turn off the main switches for electricity, water and gas and for the emergency telephone number, 112, to provide themselves with a portable radio with batteries and a case first aid and place a fire extinguisher in an accessible place and practice using it.

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In case the public is outside the house, office, school, the Civil Defense recommends choosing a safe meeting place after the earthquake which is located away from buildings and trees, as well as away from telephone and electric cables.

At the time of the earthquake, Civil Defense advises the public if they are inside the house to keep calm, not to panic, take cover under some durable furniture (table, desk or desk), kneel and hold with their hands his leg, if there is no durable furniture, to kneel in the middle of the room, reducing his height as much as possible and to protect his head and neck with his hands, to move away from large glass surfaces (windows, glass partitions) or furniture and objects that may injure them, do not try to move away from the house and do not go out on the balcony.

At the same time, it recommends that the public, if they are in a tall building, move away from windows and external walls, stay in the area until the vibration ends, not use the elevator to escape, because there is a risk of falling or being trapped in it, due to its interruption electricity or distortion to its drivers, not to stand on open windows, balconies or on the edges of roofs, because the vibration may cause them to fall into the void.

He also advises the public if they are in an entertainment area, shopping center or large store to stay in the area until the vibration ends and not get carried away by the panicked crowd moving disorderly towards the exits, because they risk being trampled.

If the public is in an open space, Civil Defense recommends that they avoid standing near buildings, rocks, electric poles or objects that may fall and injure them, if they have a bag or briefcase with them, to cover their heads with them, to move away from the coasts, because after a strong earthquake, waves can be created with great speed and height that will sweep the coasts.

If the public is in a car, it is recommended that they park as quickly and carefully as possible in an area that does not obstruct traffic, away from high-rise buildings, piles or rocks and avoid passing through tunnels, bridges or overpasses.

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After the earthquake, Civil Defense advises the public if they are inside the house to prepare for any aftershocks, to carefully check themselves and those around them for possible injuries, to immediately help children, as well as the disabled, helpless, sick or elderly people to be protected, if he is trapped or trapped somewhere from where he cannot escape, to try in every way to give signs of life so that the rescue crews can locate him, if a fire has broken out somewhere, to put it out before it gets bigger, to avoid entering his house if he sees damage, cut cables, gas or natural gas leakage, not to touch electric cables and objects that touch cables, because he is at risk of electric shock.

It also advises the public not to attempt to move a seriously injured person unless their life is in immediate danger, not to enter damaged buildings until they are assured by authorities that they are safe, to evacuate the building from the stairwell (do not use the lift), after first turning off the electricity, gas and water switches, to use their landline or mobile phone only in exceptional cases, because it causes an overload on the telephone networks, which prevents the smooth coordination of the actions of the Response Services whose mission is to deal with the consequences of the earthquake, to respond to calls for help, but not to circulate unnecessarily so that rescue crews can circulate unhindered, to take refuge in an open and safe area and to follow the instructions of the Authorities and not pay attention to rumours.

In how the public should react to an upcoming gravity wave (tsunami), Civil Defense recommends that if someone is in a low-lying coastal area, although not all earthquakes cause tsunamis, to stay alert, to observe if there is a significant increase or falling water level, which is a physical warning, to move away from the sea and head for inland areas of higher elevation, because a small tsunami at one point on the coast can turn into a large tsunami, kilometers away.

Finally, he advises the public to stay away from the coast, because the tsunami does not consist of just one wave but of a series of waves and to return only after being informed by the competent authorities that there is no danger and not to approach the coasts for to watch for an oncoming tsunami, because by the time he sees it it may be too late to avoid it.

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Source: www.reporter.com.cy

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