How 69 Brought Bad Luck

Thursday, February 23, 2012
It was not so long a time since Dumaguete/Negros Oriental made it to global news. Now another set of write-ups were published involving such a humble city and province. Unfortunately though, it was not something majority would have wanted to hear of.

February 6 - A magnitude 6.9 earthquake brought about panic and mass destruction to the laid-back province of Negros Oriental. Though not as severe as that of Japan's 8.9 magnitude earthquake, numerous people in the northern part of the province were left homeless, hungry, miserable and worst of all, broken. Over a hundred are believed dead as earth abruptly ate people unable to escape such ill fate. For a number of survivors, a dark tomorrow became crystal clear. Having lost every single thing and person valued most marked a not so fresh start and since majority of the affected are financially incapable, moving on was never an easy way out of their fall. Despite such sad reality, the northern municipalities weren't the only places affected.

Dumaguete, reported to have felt the devastating intensity 7 shake, had its own story as well. Hundreds fled to higher lands upon knowing that a tsunami level 2 alert was issued by Philvolcs. People near seashores were reported to have left their households with the fear of getting an experience of Japan's fate. But that move was far from necessary.

Precaution was the main implication that the government agency wanted to get across. Needless to say, such alert was way too misunderstood. Dissecting at the triggering factors of the people's hysterical moves led to spotting the gap at which information dissemination was transmitted between the agency, media and the people. With the media having the most weight in the process, failure to clearly emphasize what the alert level accurately meant was evident. That automatically became a theory right after seeing how people reacted to the situation. It is undeniable how people feed information from media especially in cases as such. However, it is likewise high likely that people may have been informed well but have over-reacted to what has been communicated.

Taking a look at both sides of the coin brings to conclusions that people's knowledge of procedures pertaining to natural calamities are arguably poor and that media fell short at going the extra mile in letting everyone, affected or not, know how to get by situations where mother nature takes credit.

One Big Turn© has several basic tips to help everyone save their asses in case of an earthquake:
1. Stay calm despite how exactly opposite your environment is. Your mind thinks better when you are calm than in panic.
2. Look for a heavy piece of furniture (table etc.) that can protect you from falling objects/debris in the entire duration of the quake.
3. Stay inside a building especially if the exit is quite far from your location. However, if you are lucky enough to be near a building's main exit, do go out and look for an open area where nothing can fall on you.
4. Never take the elevators when getting out of a building; even minutes after the earthquake.
5. Expect aftershocks to happen and when they do, refer back to the previous instructions.
6. Be informed. Get the latest information from a trusted media institution for instructions and updates.

Note: To those who expected this write-up to be about something else, sorry to have you disappointed.