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Tremor or Earthquake? The Common Mistake We Often Make and Safety Survival Tips For You.

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Some parts of Accra on Wednesday night witnessed another earth tremor that lasted for a few seconds. It some places, the event was felt three times within 30minutes. 

This is not the first time within a short time earth tremors have been recorded. 

Experts say that areas like Weija, Gbawe, McCarthy Hills and parts of Accra lie on a fault line making it earthquake prone. 

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Historically, Ghana has witnessed very destructive earthquakes. 

According to a publication on Harvard website, Ghana has records of damaging earthquakes dating as far back as 1636. The last three major ones occurred in 1862, 1906 and 1939. The most destructive earthquake that struck the then Gold Coast and caused a lot of damage and loss of life and property was the 22nd June 1939 earthquake.

Seventeen people were killed and one hundred and thirty three injured. Its magnitude was 6.5 on the Richter scale. The occurrence of the 1939 earthquake, the latest tremors that occurred on the 8th of January, 14th of February and 6th of March 1997 and recent micro-seismic activity are very threatening registering more than 4.0 on the Richter scale.(Amponsah P, 2003. ADSABS,Harvard)

According to the United States Geological Survey, the tremor was actually a 4.0 magnitude earthquake, as reported by Graphic online. 

Social media have since been awash with reactions to the natural event, calling for deepened national discussion on the overall preparedness of the nation in case a bigger event awaits us. Some interpret it as nature’s way of sending us a warning. How ever you interpret it, it is imperative that we prepare for any event at all as a nation. 


But away from that, what is the difference between an earth tremor and an earth quake? 

The difference is not readily simple as you would have. This is the reason.


Earth Tremor

Earth tremor is a seismic activity which consists of a sudden quiver, rhythmic movements of earth’s tectonic plates along a fault line due to build up of energy in the earth crust. 

Experts say earth tremors register less than 4.0 magnitude on the Richter Scale. Experts say, tremors normally depend on where you are from the epicenter of an earthquake. The closer one is at the epicenter, the more energy is felt . Essentially this makes tremors ‘baby earthquakes’.

Tremors are mostly less destructive than full blown earthquakes.

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Earthquakes on the other hand are full grown tremors, registering above 7.0magnitude on the Ritchter Scale . 

Earthquakes are usually high energy earth movements that are destructive and deadly. These are caused by sudden release of energy in the earth’s crust. Recent earthquakes around the world caused the loss of lines and property running into several millions. 

The earthquake of Haiti comes to mind which is the worst earthquake in the last two decades. 

It resulted in the leveling of its capital, Porte-au-Prince and other losses. The nation is still recovering from the devastating earthquake. 

What must you do during the event of an earthquake?

Here are some safety tips to ensure your survival in the event of an earthquake. 


1. Stay came and don’t panic. Panic will make you make hasty decisions borne out of neural reactions like running outside or jumping out of a window which may prove risky or even fatal. 

Try and stay calm to get your reactions properly coordinated. 


2. Practice the DROP-COVER-HOLD ON approach.

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If you’re standing in the event of an earthquake, you must drop down on your knees, cover your head with your hands and seek for cover under a table or any sturdy object that you can crawl under and hold on firmly. If you’re in a building, lean against an inner wall in the center of the building and avoid windows and outside doors. 

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3.If you’re outside in the event of an earthquake, seek for an open field and check for overhead cables and power lines as they may fall and harm you. 

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4. Avoid lifts and use stairs instead if it is safe to do so. Power may be interrupted and you’re likely to get stuck in a lift. 


5. Dial an emergency number if possible . 

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6. If you’re in a moving car in the event of an earthquake, hit the brakes immediately and stop. Stay in the car and make sure you’re away from trees, power cables or under bridges and overheads. 

After the event avoid roads with bridges or overheads and road ramps . 


We all need to have these tips on our finger tips because we don’t know when disaster will strike when Mother Nature decides to fight back. 

Let’s all stay safe.


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(Refs: National Geographic)

Source: opera.com
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