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Earthquakes
 

Nicaragua is prone to earthquakes.  When traveling to or residing in Nicaragua, it is important to be prepared for earthquakes.

Additional information on earthquakes can be found on the “Natural Disasters” page of the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/emergencies/
emergencies_1207.html

Preparing for an Earthquake

Home Preparedness

  • Choose a safe place in every room—under a sturdy table or desk or against an inside wall where nothing can fall on you.
  • Practice DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON. Drop under a sturdy desk or table, hold on, and protect your eyes by pressing your face against your arm. If there’s no table or desk nearby, sit on the floor against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases, or tall furniture that could fall on you.  Teach children to DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON!
  • You may also want to take a first aid class from your local Red Cross chapter and keep your training current.
  • Be ready to use a fire extinguisher from your local fire department.
  • Inform babysitters and caregivers of your plan.

Eliminate hazards, by—

  • Bolting bookcases, china cabinets, and other tall furniture to wall studs.
  • Installing strong latches on cupboards.
  • Strapping the water heater to wall studs.

Prepare a Disaster Supplies Kit for home and car, including—

  • First aid kit and essential medications.
  • Canned food and can opener.
  • At least three gallons of water per person.
  • Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags.
  • Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
  • Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members.
  • Written instructions for how to turn off gas, electricity, and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you’ll need a professional to turn natural gas service back on.)
  • Keeping essentials, such as a flashlight and sturdy shoes, by your bedside.

Know what to do when the shaking begins

  • DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON!
  • Move only a few steps to a nearby safe place. Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you’re sure it’s safe to exit. Stay away from windows. In a high-rise building, expect the fire alarms and sprinklers to go off during a quake.
  • If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow.
  • If you are outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, and power lines. Drop to the ground.
  • If you are in a car, slow down and drive to a clear place (as described above). Stay in the car until the shaking stops.

Identify what to do after the shaking stops

  • Check yourself for injuries. Protect yourself from further danger by putting on long pants, a longsleeved shirt, sturdy shoes, and work gloves.
  • Check others for injuries. Give first aid for serious injuries.
  • Look for and extinguish small fires. Eliminate fire hazards. Turn off the gas if you smell gas or think it is leaking.  (Remember, only a professional should turn it back on.)
  • Listen to the radio for instructions.
  • Expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one, DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON!
  • Inspect your home for damage. Get everyone out if your home is unsafe.
  • Use the telephone only to report life-threatening emergencies.

Evacuations

Should a situation require an evacuation from an overseas location, the State Department will work with commercial airlines to ensure the safest and most efficient repatriation of U.S. citizens possible.  Commercial airlines are the Department’s primary source of transportation in an evacuation.  Other means of transport are utilized only as a last resort.  The Department of State will not provide no-cost transportation but does have the authority to provide repatriation loans to those in financial need.  U.S. citizens should obtain travel insurance to cover unexpected expenses during an emergency.

In the event of an earthquake, travelers should apprise family and friends in the United States of their whereabouts, and keep in close contact with their tour operator, hotel staff, and local officials for possible evacuation instructions.

U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the Department of State’s travel registration website at https://travelregistration.state.gov.  Registration will make your presence and whereabouts known.  While Consular Officers will do their utmost to assist Americans in a crisis, travelers should always be aware that local authorities bear primary responsibility for the welfare of people living or traveling in their jurisdictions.