This blue marble

– and yet it spins

10-point routine for earthquakes on Bali


canggubeachclub-1The ground keeps shaking. Last night I was so tired I slept through two aftershocks of more than M5.0.

Today it turns out Bali can get cold, too. Cold enough for hot tea. As I warmed my feet in the sun and sipped my green tea, I thought of my new, post-earthquake routine. Better to have one now than never, right? The routine is as follows:

  1. “Program” yourself before going to bed to wake up and to be ready for an earthquake. With “programming” I mean consider the possibility that it might happen. That way your mind will be more ready for it.
  2. Never sleep naked in an earthquake danger zone. Or even in nightwear that can’t be seen in public (you know, too sexy or too hideously old and mangy).
  3. Have a sweater either near the bed or near the door, to be grabbed on the way out. Do not try to get your shoes on – grab them with you.
  4. Keep your phone, wallet, passport, laptop, and keys in the same place always, one that you can find even when drowsy with sleep.
  5. If in a hurry, leave wallet and laptop and prioritize mobile phone. Never mind about the passport. As long as you can be contacted you can get help.
  6. Keep the door key in the lock, always. And if you must evacuate, lock your door even if fumbling with keys while the ground shakes it is the last thing you want to do. Apparently houses on Bali are looted during quakes.
  7. Wake up the neighbors if possible.
  8. Never trust the structure of a house unless you trust the country’s construction regulations. Run into the street instead of taking shelter under a table or in a doorway. If you are not sure, do what others do. Ideally, follow the example of a Japanese. Any Japanese.
  9. If you run into the street, try to find open sky between all the electric cables and power poles. This is easier said than done: in Canggu one may have to run for dozens of meters for cable-free skies.
  10. Do NOT go into a bar after a big quake to get drunk… seriously, Aussies of Canggu, this does not promote survival.

(Canggu, Bali, Indonesia; August 2018)


2 thoughts on “10-point routine for earthquakes on Bali

  1. Sound advice I got caught out in Borneo with the clothing and had to run back in for something to wear!!

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