29-08-13 © 2013 . All rights reserved.

29 Aug ’13

The divine landscape of Shangri-La moves me. Really, it does. And it does actually move, because last night we felt a 4.2 earthquake in Tacheng. The epicentre was around the town of Benzilan, where we were before. A couple of hours later, the earth shook again but unlike in Benzilan, there was no damage or problems in Tacheng.

So I checked right away the website Earthquake Report, a project of fellow Belgian Armand Vervaeck. I guess I was the first one to post an “I felt it” on this website. In the morning, a couple of hours later, already more people posted about the same earthquake that happened in Shangri-La, near the boarder with Sichuan. Travellers should be aware of the earthquake risk when heading into this part of the world. It doesn’t mean that it happens every day but it is good to know it can happen and if it does, what to do (or not do).
Armand (follow him via Twitter on @Armanvervaeck) was so kind to give us a couple of tips:

What to do when you get hit by an earthquake when on holiday:

- Never run outside
- Kneel down next to an inside wall, maximum 3 meters away from the spot where you are when the shaking starts
- Put your hands on your head to protect yourself from falling plaster
- Never stand in the doorway or in the alley, these are the weakest spots in a modern home
- When the earthquake hits when sleeping, stay in your bed and protect your head with a cushion
- Only when the shaking stops, run outside to an open space but stay away from houses or buildings. A lot of casualties from earthquakes are from falling debris in streets
- Stay outside until the authorities say it is safe. This might take several days.
- With severe earthquakes, aftershocks can be heavier than the initial earthquake
- Check with your travel agent if you are traveling to an earthquake sensitive region. When it doubt, contact @Armanvervaeck.

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