How to survive an earthquake in Jakarta

It was like in one of those disaster movies and everyone’s panicking and screaming to rush down the stairs and the streets are full of throngs of people and you can’t call your wife cos the telecommunications are down and…

…But hold on a sec. There’s no damage. And the building didn’t shake that much.

But nearer to the quake’s epicenter (Tasikmalaya) - which is a good 300 kms from Jakarta - the damage was much worse and many buildings - including the large Ar Rahman Mosque - have collapsed.

The fears now, though, are that a further quake is imminent and, because of this, the authorities have issued a set of guidelines which Jakarta residents are urged to follow in the event of another (large) quake:

If you are inside:

1. Remain calm and stay away from things that could fall easily. Wearing a motorcycle crash helmet will give you added protection.

2. Crawl under a sturdy desk or go to a corner of the room. If you don’t have a desk in your house a table will do. Don’t worry too much if all those bricks and concrete come tumbling down: Indonesian-built desks are among the strongest in the world.

3. Cover your head with your arms (and simply swipe away the huge chunks on concrete as they come crashing down upon you).

4. Do not use stairs or elevators. Jump out of the window instead.

If you are outside:

1. Calmly move to an open area (plenty of those in Jakarta, aren’t there?)

2. If you live in Ancol or near the sea, get your surfboard ready. Ask your kids to wear armbands. They’ve had swimming lessons, right? And whatever you do, don’t try and drive to higher ground. This will make the roads congested and make it more difficult for the VIPs wanting to flee the capital.

Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to this, eh?


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