It is extremely difficult to get across to someone who has never experienced the sheer, mind-numbing terror of being caught in a major earthquake. ---- Unfortunately, this serves only to increase the death toll as terrified home owners rushing into the street provide easy targets for falling masonry and other debris crashing down from above.
(A) Even in California, where the population is constantly bombarded with information about what to do in the event of a quake, coherent, sensible thought ceases when the ground starts to tremble.
(B) Following the Loma Pieta quake that struck Northern California in 1989, a survey revealed that only 18 percent of population of Santa Cruz sought immediate protection, while close to 70 percent either froze or ran outside.
(C) This is a perennial problem with earthquakes, however well educated the people are, when the ground starts bucking like a bronco and the furniture starts to huil itself across the room, blind instinct takes over and tells them to 'get out of the place'.