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What to do during an earthquake ?

If a major earthquake happen, the NHK will broadcast information in English and Japanese to all its TV and radio networks. Check channel 1 on TV. The procedures to follow are:

  • Don't run, and move as little as possible to avoid falling debris.
  • Move away from windows, escalators, elevators/lifts and collapsible structures.
  • If possible, try to reach the nearest evacuation area (usually parks).
  • No need to panic if you are inside a building. Avoid ground floors as these tend to be crushed first if a building collapse. If you can't escape, go under a table or desk to protect yourself from falling objects.
  • Big earthquakes usually have 3 phases of tremor. The first tremor is almost imperceptible to humans, but animals might feel it (dogs barking or crying, birds in cages getting nervous...). A few minutes later come the second tremor, which also humans can feel. Wait till it has stopped, then rush outside if you are near the exit, or go away from tall buildings, electric lines and riverbanks. The third tremor is usually the most powerful.

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