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Braga pupils are ready in case of an earthquake

Braga pupils are ready in case of an earthquake

The City Council carried out a behaviour exercise to teach kids how to respond if disaster occurs

Using an American model, the Municipality of Braga (Portugal) organized drill exercises at various schools on its territory with the idea to instil a sense of preparation and discipline among the pupils there in case an earthquake struck. The exercise initiative, called ‘A Terra Treme’ (meaning ‘The Earth is Shaking’), has the goal to prepare the youngsters not to panic and to know how to respond during such an extreme event.

How seismic is Portugal?

For one minute, at precisely 11:05 am, the students practised the three basic protective moves in the event of an earthquake: Duck, Cover and Wait. This was a demonstration that having some basic understanding and preparedness to act in the case of a quake should be a common civic skill.

‘A Terra Treme' seeks to promote discussion and learning about how to act before, during and after an earthquake. The exercise takes place for the fourth time in Portugal and is inspired by the North American model 'ShakeOut'.

This project is part of the objectives of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, in the context of Education for Risk, investing in playful and educational materials that encourage knowledge and participation. The participation of the Municipality's schools is crucial, as children and young people are important agents of change, not only for the acquisition of skills that allow them to know what to do and what not to do in the face of each risk, but also as valuable transmitters of a culture of prevention for the family and the community where they live.

According to WorldData, Portugal is not a region prone to very frequent seismic activities. Nevertheless, 93 people have died since 1950 as a direct result of an earthquake. What’s more, one of the country’s major historical events – the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake – is known to have been one of the deadliest earthquakes in recorded history. It destroyed 85% of the capital’s buildings and killed between 12,000 and 50,000 people.

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