The Triangle of Life
Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager
American Rescue Team International
Extracts from his Articles
The first building I ever crawled inside of was a school in Mexico City during the 1985 earthquake. Every child was under their desk. Every child was crushed to the thickness of their bones. They could have survived by lying down next to their desks in the aisles. It was obscene, unnecessary and I wondered why the children were not in the aisles. I didn't at the time know that the children were told to HIDE UNDER something. 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.
TEN TIPS FOR EARTHQUAKE SAFETY
–Wood is flexible.
–If the wooden building does collapse, large survival voids are created.
–Wooden building has less concentrated, crushing weight.
–Brick buildings will break into individual bricks.
–The stairs and remainder of the building continuously bump into each other until structural failure of the stairs takes place.
Get near the outer walls of the buildings or outside of them if possible.
I discovered, while crawling inside of collapsed newspaper offices and other offices with a lot of paper that paper does not compact. Large voids are found surrounding stacks of paper.