Cyprus Today

Drop, cover and hold on!

Public invited to take part in earthquake drill today


MEMBERS of the public have been invited to participat­e in an earthquake drill being held this evening.

The “Drop, Cover, Hold On” drill will take place at 6.57pm around the country. It is being jointly organised by the TRNC Civil Defence Organisati­on Directorat­e (SSTB) and the Turkish Interior Ministry’s Disaster and Emergency Management Directorat­e (AFAD).

The drill will be carried out in the 81 provinces of Turkey and the six districts of the TRNC.

According to a statement issued by the Civil Defence Organisati­on Directorat­e, the drill’s aim is to “inform people about the correct course of action during a possible earthquake and to raise society’s awareness about this type of disaster”.

As part of the exercise, an announceme­nt of the drill will be made on Civil Defence radio frequencie­s (87.5, 89.8, 94.4, 100.4, 104.3 and 104.5 FM) today at 6.57pm and the “Drop, Cover, Hold On” procedure – “Çök, Kapan, Tutun” in Turkish – will be carried out “at the designated spots” in Lefkoşa, Gazimağusa, Girne, Güzelyurt and İskele districts.

With the announceme­nt of the drill, people are asked to “rehearse the correct course of action at the time of an earthquake by applying this method wherever they are”.

People participat­ing in the drill in places such as at their homes and workplaces are being asked to take a photo or video of themselves implementi­ng the “Drop, Cover, Hold On” method and send it via WhatsApp to 0548 830 28 41.

“The public have been invited to participat­e in the drill, which will be held in order to minimise loss of life and injuries in a possible earthquake by using a simple procedure,” a statement said.

The time and date of the drill have been chosen to coincide with the anniversar­y of a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Düzce, north-western Turkey, on November 12, 1999.

The quake left at least 845 people dead and thousands more injured and came just three months after an earthquake in the north-western Turkish city of İzmit, which killed nearly 20,000 people.

Cyprus is also prone to frequent seismic activity, with an earthquake to the west of the island measuring 6.6 on the

Richter scale striking on January 11 this year, which caused minor damage.

Other powerful earthquake­s that have been recorded in Cyprus in modern times include a 6.8 magnitude quake on October 9, 1996, and a 6.3 magnitude earthquake on September 10, 1953, which claimed the lives of 40 people and left thousands homeless, mainly in the Paphos region in the south-west of the island.

It is also believed, based on historical evidence, that earthquake­s caused tsunamis in 1202 and 1222 off the coasts of Paphos and Limassol respective­ly, and that the ancient city of Salamis on the east coast of Cyprus was devastated by a tsunami caused by an earthquake around 2,300 years ago.

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