Earthquake Preparedness and alertness in times of crisis can go a long way. This was exactly what Ciro Toscano learned when a 4.0-magnitude earthquake struck the popular Mediterranean Resort Island Ischia off the coast of Naples, Italy.

A firefighting team was able to rescue the 11-year-old Ciro and his younger siblings around 16 hours after the quake occurred. Ciro was able to push his eight-year-old brother Mattias under a bed, while seven-month-old Pasquale was likewise miraculously saved.

Boy’s heroic act

Quick-thinking Ciro was visibly shaken from the ordeal, as his grandmother recalled.

Yet his heroic act did not go unnoticed. When rescuers pulled out his baby brother from the rubble, followed by his eight-year-old sibling, everyone heaved a huge sigh of relief.

Italians had expressed shock and anguish at the natural calamity that befell them. Twitter sphere was awash with comments of residents recalling the terrifying quake that claimed lives and injured close to 40. As houses collapsed, the young and old dashed to do what they could to get out of harm’s way.

Ciro Toscano’s father, Alessandro, recounted he was in the kitchen. His wife, Alessia, was in the bathroom while their two older sons were in their bedroom. While the boys’ parents were able to emerge unscathed soon after the quake, the three boys were trapped when the apartment building where lived collapsed.

Quake-prone Italy

Large tremors hit Italy in the past. In August last year, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck mountainous parts of central Italy, killing many people. Italy’s Appenine mountain range is noted to be prone to earthquakes, The region has suffered from quakes similar to what happened in August 2016.

It can be tricky to predict when the next dangerous seismic activity may occur.

Yet it is good to be prepared for the most massive or worst one that may happen. The case of Dominican Republic , which experienced a 4.5 magnitude earthquake in late February after numerous quake occurrences, has been subject of speculations that the “Big One” may hit it hard.

This assessment came in the face of reports that the Dominican Republic may not be equipped to handle a massive earthquake.

In any case, educating the public about what must be done prior to, during, and after a quake – along with the dangers and impact – is crucial. Apart from an informational campaign on earthquake preparedness, large-scale tsunami response exercises are also important.