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Earthquakes <h2 class="sectHeading">How do I know it’s an earthquake? </h2><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info note">​</i> ​​</div><div class="desc"><h4>Please note</h4><p>If an emergency occurs, call Emergency Services immediately: <strong> <em>107 </em></strong>from a landline, or <em> <a>021 480 7700</a></em> from a cellphone</p></div></div><p>Although it may not seem like Cape Town has a high earthquake risk, small geological fault lines can be found across various parts of the city and in the mountains to the east. Cape Town lies in a low earthquake activity region, but earthquakes of varying magnitude have occurred in the past and are still likely to occur at some stage in the future. </p><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy light-blue bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info fastfact"></i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Fast fact</h4><p>Earthquakes can be measured in two ways: The Modified Mercalli Scale or the Richter Scale. Both are used and help us classify the intensity (strength) of the earthquake</p></div></div><p> <b>If you see or experience any of the following, it could be an earthquake:</b> </p><ul><li>Strong ground motion – shaking and trembling of the earth </li><li>Fault rupturing – breaks in the ground</li><li>Soil liquefaction – when soil loses strength and stiffness causing it to behave like a liquid</li></ul><p> <b>Earthquakes of a high magnitude can do serious damage; some of the risks are:</b> </p><ul><li>30-90% of soils saturated with water can turn to liquid – any building or structure built on these soils would collapse or be seriously damaged;</li><li>slopes, such as hills and mountain sides can collapse;</li><li>engineering lifelines like communications, energy supplies, fuel pipelines, water supply, wastewater, sewerage and stormwater could be damaged or destroyed;</li><li>roads and rail bridges could collapse and cause major injury and damage;</li><li>the economy could suffer if core infrastructure is damaged and the workforce is affected;</li><li>society would be disrupted and communities may be in need of relocation;</li><li>loss of life; and</li><li>risk to human health.</li></ul><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy light-blue bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info fastfact"></i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Fast fact</h4><p>If you are closer to the centre of a quake – known as the ‘epicentre’ – you will feel the effects more and will suffer more if the earthquake is a serious one</p></div></div><h2 class="sectHeading">Prepare a family emergency plan</h2><p>By drafting your own family emergency plan and identifying all your risks, you are in a much better position for any disaster. Download our <a href="" target="_blank">Family Disaster Preparedness Guidelines</a>, complete the family emergency plan section and make sure your household knows where it is kept. </p><p>You may also want to download our Be Ready For an Earthquake <a href="" target="_blank">Booklet</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Poster</a>.</p><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info toptip"></i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Top tip</h4><p>Turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if you are being evacuated.</p></div></div><h2 class="sectHeading">Develop an emergency communication plan</h2><p>In case family members are separated from one another during floods or flash floods (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.</p><p> <b>We recommend:</b> </p><ul><li>Ask an out-of-town relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance.</li><li>Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address and phone number of the contact person.</li><li>Teach all family members how and when to turn off the gas, electricity and water.</li><li>Teach children how and when to call emergency numbers (police, ambulance, fire and rescue services, electricity and water services), and which radio station to tune into for emergency information. See our <a href="">list of emergency contact numbers</a>. </li><li>Be prepared to evacuate at any time. </li></ul><h2 class="sectHeading">Have disaster supplies on hand</h2><p> You should include the following: </p><ul><li>Torches and extra batteries</li><li>Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries tuned to a local station so you can follow emergency instructions</li><li>First aid kit and manual</li><li>Emergency food and bottled water</li><li>Non-electric can opener</li><li>Essential medicines</li><li>Cash and credit cards</li><li>Strong shoes</li><li>Cell phones</li><li>Dry clothing</li></ul><h2 class="sectHeading">Contact us</h2><h4>Disaster Risk Management Centre</h4><p> Contact us for information and advice before, during and after a disaster.</p><div class="contact"> <em> <ul><li>Telephone:<br><a>080 911 4357</a> </li><li>International callers:<br><a>+27 21 597 6000</a></li><li>Fax:<br><a>086 576 1776</a></li><li>Email:<br><a href=""> </a></li></ul></em> </div>GP0|#dae4aedf-ff8e-4499-b763-6b0ef064bc9f;L0|#0dae4aedf-ff8e-4499-b763-6b0ef064bc9f|Earthquakes;GTSet|#ef3a64a2-d764-44bc-9d69-3a63d3fadea1;GPP|#e1eec47d-9c40-4859-a001-a519b50f3e4a;GPP|#df0a3405-0ca1-4617-8047-15a034219fee;GPP|#245ec7aa-a528-4cd3-bcac-597c292db711;GP0|#e7616bcc-348f-42e3-801f-39e094e867b3;L0|#0e7616bcc-348f-42e3-801f-39e094e867b3|Earthquakes;GPP|#c6d118c1-4a38-4635-ae3d-bf9f7ef0f2a3;GPP|#36dcb5fe-6bfc-4ae9-92d7-8bd08d1f6414;GPP|#af370586-9ba3-404a-9d6e-02066ca42752Understand earthquakes and make sure you know how to keep yourselves and families safe in the event of a quake.





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