Understanding Earthquakes from a Peruvian Perspective

HOME EARTHQUAKES EARTHQUAKES IN LIMA Search
Earthquakes in Lima, Peru
Overview of content

Every public building in Peru has an 'S' Sign which designates a safe place, to be, in an earthquake. These areas were created based upon Doug Copp's teaching. Duck and cover lingers with a few intransigent bureaucrats; however, it has generally been replaced.


(Below is the text. The original link above has many photographs and text.)
Earthquakes are among the most powerful and terrifying events on earth. Unfortunately for thousands of years they
have been a common occurrence in Peru and the area of Lima. We never know when and where to expect the next
earthquake, so be prepared and aware on what to do.
Why earthquakes occur in Peru?
Scientists have developed a theory, called plate tectonics, that explains why most earthquakes occur. According to
this theory, Earth’s outer shell consists of about 10 large, rigid plates and about 20 smaller ones. Each plate has a
section of Earth’s crust and a portion of thick layer of hot rock below the crust. The plates move slowly and
continuously. They collide, move apart or slide past one another. These movements finally can cause earthquakes.
Peru is situated along the boundary of two tectonic plates: the Nazca Plate and the South American Plate. The
interface between these two plates is located near the Peruvian coast. At a rate of approx. 60 mm per year the South
American Plate is moving towards the Pacific Ocean over the Nazca Plate. That may not sound a lot but it is enough to
put huge strain on the Earth’s crust. The pressures are periodically released through earthquakes.
Please click on the Pictures for bigger view…
The subduction of the Nazca Plate caused millions of years ago the rise of the Andes Mountains, the creation of the
PeruChile
Trench and the volcanism in the Peruvian highlands. Until today this process continues and causes a
number of geodynamic processes. The consequent results of a heavy earthquake striking the area are destruction,
panic, fear, innocent casualties, poverty, hunger and diseases.
go to Index
What happens during an earthquake?
No earthquake is like another. An earthquake can be shallow, intermediate or deep; according to its and your
location. Anyhow most earthquakes in Peru are prefaced by a strange and unfamiliar noise that gets under your skin.
Before you realize what ’s going on you feel the ground shaking. Depending on different factors the shocks can be felt
like a swinging movement or more like fierce and rapid strokes. The ground shaking can last a few seconds up to
various minutes. Out of personal experience any second during such an event passes by like in slow motion and you
thinks it´s never going to end.
When you are inside a building you will feel the swaying from one side to another, the up and down bouncing, the
wild vibration and the violent moving. All objects not fixed proper will do the same and follow every movement.
During earthquakes many people are injured by getting hit from loose household items. In a really heavy earthquake
buildings may contract or expand, be shaken apart, collapse or even slide of their foundation when they are too weak
or rigid to resist the strong forces. If you realize this type of structural distress it will be wise to leave for a safer place
outside before you experience the house coming down on you.
Please click on the Pictures for bigger view…
Well now comes the bad one: In a city like Lima being outside during an earthquake can be quite dangerous, too.
Take care of all kind of falling objects, like bricks, glass, whole walls, street and traffic lights, signs, telephone posts,
and so on. Beware of ruptured power lines, gas leaks and spilled fuels. A lot of households in Lima cook with gas
(either natural gas lines connected to the house or domestic gas cylinders). The risks of erupting fires and explosions
way after an earthquake are high. Better look out where to smoke your relaxing cigarette…
If you are enjoying a day at the beach when an earthquake strikes, better rush to higher grounds. An earthquake on
the ocean floor can create a tremendous push to surrounding seawater and create destructive waves called tsunamis
(also known as seismic sea waves). Tsunamis may build up to heights of more than 30 meters when they reach
shallow water near the shore line. They can travel great distances in no time while diminishing little in size and can
flood coastal areas in seconds without warning. In 1746 shortly after a heavy earthquake hit Lima, a devastating
tsunami rolled over the port of Callao and completely destroyed what was left from the city. Thousands died. Even
after the strong earthquake in 2007 south of Lima, parts of the Costa Verde were badly flooded.
go to Index
What to do during an earthquake
• Why earthquakes occur in Peru? • What to do during an earthquake?
• What happens during an earthquake? • What to do after an earthquake?
08AUG2010
Lima Weather
Weather
The Ultimate
Peru List
Most useful guide
for people who
live or are
planning to move
to Peru.
External Link
Lima, Peru
LOCAL TIME
Exchange Rates
2.79 S/.
3.55 S/.

If you are enjoying a day at the beach when an earthquake strikes, better rush to higher grounds. An earthquake on
the ocean floor can create a tremendous push to surrounding seawater and create destructive waves called tsunamis
(also known as seismic sea waves). Tsunamis may build up to heights of more than 30 meters when they reach
shallow water near the shore line. They can travel great distances in no time while diminishing little in size and can
flood coastal areas in seconds without warning. In 1746 shortly after a heavy earthquake hit Lima, a devastating
tsunami rolled over the port of Callao and completely destroyed what was left from the city. Thousands died. Even
after the strong earthquake in 2007 south of Lima, parts of the Costa Verde were badly flooded.
go to Index
What to do during an earthquake
An earthquake can never be predicted. There are no fixed pattern and no logic in where it hits and when. Because
Peru lies in a seismic zone, you should at least know what to do when an earthquake strikes. Unfortunately there isn ’t
any perfect guideline telling us, do this and that, and everything will be fine.
Today we have two quite different approaches on how to behave during an earthquake when being inside a building.
The American Red Cross and the Peruvian National Institute of Seismology recommend “Drop, Cover and Hold on ”
while one of the most experienced rescue teams and disaster management organizations, the American Rescue Team
International, recommends “The Triangle of Life ”. Either have their pros and cons.
Our recommendation: Read the following chapters and learn more about both methods. Use this knowledge
accordingly to the situation and then decide for yourself what is right and logical.
1. General recommendations:
• Stay calm, don ’t panic! You need a clear mind to react proper.
• Don’t scream or shout hysterically (Everybody else will do that for you …)!
• Don’t run! Walk!
• Don’t use elevators!
• Avoid using the stairs! They might move different as the rest of the building and cause you to fall.
• If you are in a crowded place far from an exit, look for a safe place away from the crowd! Being in the middle of
a bunch of panicking people trying to get out of one door might harm you more than staying at a safe corner.
2a. What to do if you are indoors ( “Drop, Cover and Hold on ”Method)
These are the recommendations of the American Red Cross and the Peruvian Institute of Seismology on how to
behave during an earthquake if you are inside a building.
• Drop to the ground; take cover by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture and hold on until the
shaking stops.
• Move only a few steps to a nearby safe place.
• Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it’s safe to exit.
• Stay away from windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall on you.
• In highrise
buildings, expect the fire alarms and sprinklers to go off during a quake.
• If you are in bed, stay there. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow.
• Don’t use the elevators.
2b. What to do if you are indoors ( “The Triangle of Life ” – Method)
Contrary to the above mentioned standard practices, Doug Copp, director and rescue chief of American Rescue Team
International, recommends a controversial, but in our opinion fairly logic method of keeping safe during an
earthquake while being inside a building. Doug Copp has worked in earthquake rescue operations around the world.
He saw over and over again that survivors of heavy earthquakes were always found in some sort of hollow space next
to large or bulky objects like cars, furniture, fridges, etc. Therefore his mission is to protect us from the standard
recommendation “duck and cover ”. He says: “It is not the earthquake which kills you. Getting under a squashed desk
or table kills you. You can survive by fleeing the building if you can get out the ground floor or getting into a
survivable void, next to a large, bulky object ”. These even internationally more and more accepted recommendations
are worth a closer look and may save your life!
Even the American Red Cross backed off a little from their standard recommendation: “We contend that “Drop,
Cover, and Hold On” indeed saved lives, not killed people. Because the research continues to demonstrate that, in the
U.S., “Drop, Cover, and Hold On!” works, the American Red Cross remains behind that recommendation. It is the
simplest, reliable, and easiest method to teach people, including children. What we are saying is that “Drop, Cover,
and Hold On!” is not wrong in
the United States. The American Red Cross, being a U.S. based organization, does not
extend its recommendations to apply in other countries. What works here may not work elsewhere, so there is no
dispute that the “void identification method” or the “Triangle of Life” may indeed be the best thing to teach in other
countries where the risk of building collapse, even in moderate earthquakes, is great. ”
Well and that is the point, we’re not in the U.S. and the standards here in Peru are quite different…
So please read following methods of the Triangle of Life and the make up your mind:
• Flee the building if you can get out quickly and safely.
• If not: drop to the ground, get in a fetal position and lie next to (not underneath) some sort of bulky object like
a desk, sofa, fridge or even an elevator shaft (elevator shafts are considered to be one of the strongest structures
in a high rise building).
• If you are in a parking garage, get out of the car and lie next to it in a fetal position.
• If you are in bed, roll onto the floor and lie next to the bed in a fetal position.
go to Index
3. What to do if you are outside:

• Flee the building if you can get out quickly and safely.
• If not: drop to the ground, get in a fetal position and lie next to (not underneath) some sort of bulky object like
a desk, sofa, fridge or even an elevator shaft (elevator shafts are considered to be one of the strongest structures
in a high rise building).
• If you are in a parking garage, get out of the car and lie next to it in a fetal position.
• If you are in bed, roll onto the floor and lie next to the bed in a fetal position.
go to Index
3. What to do if you are outside:
• Stay outside! Don’t run back into buildings!
• Move away from buildings, street lights, signs, walls!
• Take care of all kind of falling objects!
• Get away from ruptured power lines!
• Walk calmly to the next safety area! You will find nearly everywhere either a sign with a big “S” or a yellow circle
on the street with the capital letter “S”. These areas are supposed to be safe.
• In case you are directly at the beach, seek for higher grounds. A tsunami can flood coastal areas in seconds without
warning.
4. What to do if you are in a moving vehicle:
• Stop as quickly as possible and stay in the car.
• Don’t stop near or under buildings, big trees, wires, on or under bridges, in tunnels…
• Once the earthquake has stopped, proceed cautiously. Watch out for debris, damaged roads and bridges.
go to Index
What to do after an earthquake
• First of all calm down!
• Then check yourself for injuries.
• If you are unhurt, look around and help others.
• Be prepared that telecommunication services won’t work.
• Ambulances and the fire brigade might not reach you due to damaged infrastructure or missing resources.
• Expect aftershocks!
• Enter buildings only after checking they are safe and with extreme caution!
• Stay away from ruptured power lines, look out for water and gas leaks!
• After destructive earthquake expect looting’s.
• Listen to a radio to be informed about the general situation
In case the worst case scenario comes true and you are trapped, stay calm, as hard as it might be, don ’t lighten a
match or lighter, try to draw attention to you, but don ’t waste your energy by uncontrolled screaming; better use any
object to regularly make noise and only shout when you hear voices.
Listing of notable historical earthquakes in Lima between 1533 and today
We only have proven records of earthquakes in Peru since the arrival of the Spaniards in the region. Even so we
know that already the first Peruvian cultures had to cope with the seismic activities. Earthquake after earthquake,
century after century it seems these ancient cultures learned how to keep their constructions and belongings safe.
Many archaeologists for example believe that the special trapezoid character of the Inca architecture was one of the
precautions against such natural destruction…
Read more (Historical Earthquakes in Lima, Peru)
Sitelinks:
Home • Lima Info • Lima Districts • Peru Info • Cultural Experience • Peruvian Money • Emergencies & Help
Earthquakes • Interactive Maps • Shopping • Have Fun in Lima • Business • Social Projects • Sitemap
Please contact us if you have additional information or updates!
General Copyright on all Contents, Composition & Design by LimaEasy SAC, Lima Perú
© 2006 2010
Date of last update
01/07/10

About amerrescue

Prior to 911, I was the most experienced rescue person, in the world. Permanently disabled from 911, I have changed my life-focus towards preventing bureaucracy and vested financial interests from causing the deaths of 200,000 children per year. I am promoting the belief that the lives of children are more important than American Insurance Company Shareholder profits. International Disaster Reduction Institute Institute of International Disaster January 2010 – Present (3 years 10 months)worldwide The world's most experienced Rescuer/Disaster Mitigation Management Expert , crawling inside of 896 collapsed buildings at 100+ disaster events during war, peace and revolution Plus a lifetime of High Adventure; including, an undercover cop. .At almost 3,000 serious life threatening events and the medical survival from enough toxins to kill 200+ people, I am probably the world's leading survivor, from death. Survival Scientist Linkedin Profile: Summary saving lives, reducing suffering. "You must not only be good. You must be wise and wise enough to know who is good." doug copp Sometimes it is NOT enough to do good things ..you must be strong enough to endure the attack...that will follow; especially if you are trying to place children's lives ahead of USA Insurance Company Profits...crawling inside of 896 collapsed buildings helped to give me the courage that it takes; especially, considering that I have been sick every single day; since 911. FYI: USA Insurance companies oppose my 'triangle of life' survival method; because, 90% of the children would survive; instead of 98% dead. This translates into//actuarial tables indicate, survivor's seeking compensation for trauma (physical or mental) with a net result of diminished shareholder return. The insurance Company Executives told us: ” We are in the business of maximizing shareholder return..NOT..saving lives.” The USA School Boards have been told by their Insurance Carriers that their policies would be terminated or the premium would become extreme..if the children are allowed to survive, following my method. I tried to learn: I am responsible for 'what I do' and for 'what I do NOT do'. I am responsible for 'MY actions'. I am not responsible for what other people do. I discovered: that people never regret 'doing the right thing'. They only regret 'doing the wrong thing'. A life devoid of 'something worth dying for', is a life, 'not worth living'. Do all the living you can; while you can. 650,000 people died, at the major disasters I worked at..I have seen things that you cannot imagine. For all the persecution, hatred, violence and disgusting behavior that I have endured; in fighting against, evil, greedy bastards who exploited the helpless and preyed upon people..I am glad that I always did 'the right thing'. I always stood up; many times, by myself; but never alone.. If you can't be YOURSELF then who can you be?
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s