Don't Take Cover under a Table during an Earthquake?

This is a discussion on Don't Take Cover under a Table during an Earthquake? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; So, we in Los Angeles and Orange County has just experienced an earthquake --no big deal. After the event, some ...

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    unleashed alphaoide's Avatar
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    Don't Take Cover under a Table during an Earthquake?

    So, we in Los Angeles and Orange County has just experienced an earthquake--no big deal. After the event, some co-workers of mine told us that taking cover under the desk was not the right thing to do during an earthquake. Instead, they suggested laying low next to cubicle panel.

    Their reasoning was that if you're under the desk, if something fall on top of the desk, the desk could collapse and you're crushed.

    If you're next to cubicle panel, the object will hit the top of the panel first and end up falling away from the panel.

    Now, my co-workers couldn't really cite their sources but they said the study/observation was done by those countries that have frequent eartquakes like Japan, etc. Google so far returned nothing but to take cover under the table.

    What do you say?
    source: compsci textbooks, cboard.cprogramming.com, world wide web, common sense

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    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
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    realize that it is only a 5.8 and continue working :P I've been told door ways are the place to be but I suppose in an office there aren't enough of those to go around.

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    The superhaterodyne twomers's Avatar
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    I recommend taking cover under the closest field. Fortunately this is easily done here in Ireland.

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    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    It used to be doorways, but lately I've heard under strong tables or desks is good.

    A table or desk shields you better from small debris, and if it is big debris then it doesn't matter as much where you are.

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    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    I guess that if your table is strong enough hiding under it is good, but if you overestimated its strength then you would be guaranteed to be dead. I suppose hiding next to a large object will give you a some chance of surviving some even larger object falling over it (even if it does not fall away it might crush the other object and yet leave you with some breathing room), but yeah, you might end up getting killed by smaller pieces of debris, or by a second round of the earthquake.

    Thankfully, Singapore is only vulnerable to floods. Then again, if global warming gets bad enough, the whole of Singapore save a few hills could be underwater.
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    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    The best advice I ever got was duck, cover and hold on, under a desk or something else really sturdy.

    Quote Originally Posted by twomers View Post
    I recommend taking cover under the closest field. Fortunately this is easily done here in Ireland.
    That's the worst advice actually -- If you're inside, don't try to go outside. If you're outside then your advice is okay.

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    From what I heard, hiding BESIDE a table is a better idea than UNDER. Make sure to stay below the tabletop, though.

    I was there during the 7.3 earthquake in Taiwan some years ago. It was 1am. No one cared about ducking, and just ran for their lives to get out of buildings. I ran through 4 stories to get to the door. While the staircase was still shaking. I've known better since then, but it was a miracle that I came out alive .

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    Make sure it's a table with a lot of columns and rows.
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    unleashed alphaoide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    From what I heard, hiding BESIDE a table is a better idea than UNDER. Make sure to stay below the tabletop, though.
    See, this is really what I told my co-worker: "Give me your source."
    For now, I don't buy it.
    source: compsci textbooks, cboard.cprogramming.com, world wide web, common sense

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    >> From what I heard, hiding BESIDE a table is a better idea than UNDER. Make sure to stay below the tabletop, though.

    And how does that make sense? If whatever is falling is strong enough to crush the table, then it will crush you as well since you have no protection above you.

    If it is not strong enough to crush the table, then you are better protected under the table than next to it.

    This says "under":
    http://www.fema.gov/hazard/earthquake/eq_during.shtm

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    "Triangle of Life"

    Here's a source in regards to your topic:

    http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors...le-of-life.htm


    quick quote from the above link:

    Simply stated, when buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings
    falling upon the objects or furniture inside crushes these objects, leaving a
    space or void next to them. This space is what I call the 'triangle of life'.
    The larger the object, the stronger, the less it will compact. The less the
    object compacts, the larger the void, the greater the probability that
    the person who is using this void for safety will not be injured. The next
    time you watch collapsed buildings, on television, count the 'triangles' you
    see formed. They are everywhere. It is the most common shape, you will see,
    in a collapsed building.
    alphaoide- hope this helps answer your question. Whether you buy it or not will be up to you.

    Urban legend or fact? Who really knows *shrugs*.

    I for one will not be under a desk, no matter how "sturdy" I perceive it to be.
    Last edited by valkyrie22; 07-30-2008 at 11:28 AM. Reason: add

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    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Now, my co-workers couldn't really cite their sources but they said the study/observation was done by those countries that have frequent eartquakes like Japan, etc. Google so far returned nothing but to take cover under the table.
    I remember hearing this advice before, and now I remember that it was in an email. A quick background check of the email source reveals that it may be not be sound: Triangle of Life.

    And how does that make sense? If whatever is falling is strong enough to crush the table, then it will crush you as well since you have no protection above you.
    The reasoning is that the table next to you would be compressed, but there is a chance that it would reach the limit of compression before the object that fell could crush you. If so, you would then be trapped in a small gap next to the table, with some chance of survival. Of course, if rescue never comes, you would probably have been better off with a quick death rather than this slow death from thirst

    My main objection is that this is a double gamble: you would be gambling that smaller pieces of fallen debris will not kill you anyway, and that the objects next to you will not be so badly crushed that you end up crushed as well. If you just hide under the object, you are only gambling that it would not be crushed enough to crush you.
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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    I think that if I'm close to the street I'd prefer to get out. Somehow the thought of waiting it out under a table with a potential collapsing roof - probably with several storeys over me - just doesn't strike me as a very smart thing to do.

    If I'm living in a tall building then I guess a table would have to do. That or a doorway I guess. But then the floor under me might just collapse and my last thoughts will no doubt be "Oh, screw that!".
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
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    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    unleashed alphaoide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valkyrie22 View Post
    Here's a source in regards to your topic:

    alphaoide- hope this helps answer your question. Whether you buy it or not will be up to you.

    Urban legend or fact? Who really knows *shrugs*.

    I for one will not be under a desk, no matter how "sturdy" I perceive it to be.
    Awesome, thanks. The authorities still suggests to duck under desk despite that guy's observation. I will still need more to be convinced
    source: compsci textbooks, cboard.cprogramming.com, world wide web, common sense

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