Seeing the Sign: How Safe Is an Earthquake Safety Zone?

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Do you feel more or less safe in a safety zone? Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Do you feel more or less safe in a safety zone?
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Not until I see a sign in Cusco, Peru alerting me to my presence in an earthquake safety zone—in the dining room of a small restaurant in my hotel—do I really think of temblors. Living in an earthquake-free zone, for the most part, I don’t have occasion to feel the earth rumble. There was one time while on business in San Diego, but that felt like a strong wind and just rattled the windows in the middle of the night. What do I do if there’s a real one and I’m in a city?

All I vaguely know is that I should stand in a doorway, or maybe hide under a strong table. What I am grateful for here in Peru is that the sign is printed in English.

—Lori Tripoli

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