Quakes: How search and rescue operates

Rescuers search through debris following an earthquake in Pescara Del Tronto, Italy. Photo / AP
Rescuers search through debris following an earthquake in Pescara Del Tronto, Italy. Photo / AP

A strong earthquake rocks Italy, flattening towns and killing scores of people. An even bigger quake hits Burma (Myanmar), killing a few people and shattering ancient Buddhist pagodas.

When an earthquake happens, how do rescuers go about finding people trapped under the rubble? Here's what happens in six steps.

1 Management
Experts identify quake-damaged zones and assess risk of collapsed buildings

2 Equipment
Teams use thermal image and listening devices, cutting and heavy lifting gear for search and rescue

3 Trained dogs
Specially trained dogs help find survivors detect gas leaks

4 Search, contact
Rescuers use endoscopic cameras to contact trapped survivors

5 Getting them out
Engineers, building experts, decide how best to reach victims. Paramedics give first-aid on site

6 Quake survivors
Ambulances rush survivors to hospitals for further treatment

- AFP, AP

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