Why Running to a Washroom is the Best Way to Confirm if an Earthquake is Happening or Not?

Water Closet's water seal
The query, one Mr. James Phiray from Indonesian capital city sent to us yesterday, was:

QUERY:

"Normally when an earthquake strikes during the day time and in relatively higher intensity than 4 on Richter scale, and we get to know about it having felt its tremors, we get out of our building and go out in open spaces. However, if the intensity is not too much and the buildings are not shaking too much, how to be doubly sure (especially during night time) that an earthquake has really struck?"

(Query's sentence structuring has been changed/ updated a bit with due permission from James to make it look a bit formal and better structured in English)
BnM's REPLY:


At times, certain queries that we receive from our readers and visitors alike, make us ponder and look for an apt answer that is more of practical humdrum based rather than just a theoretical rhetoric.

As we discussed the topic amongst us-- the Team Bricksnmortar -- we could fathom that the best and easiest way to ensure visually whether an earthquake has really struck or not IS TO HEAD TO THE WASHROOM.

Seriously, no kidding on that!

In normal circumstances, one can look at the lighting fixtures hung onto the ceiling or walls; or watch the free hanging furnishings like curtains, tall standing furniture, etc. to catch the visual signs of shaking objects. However still, such shaking may though be very gentle, and could be missed by the naked eyes. In such an instance, it would always be wise to run to the washroom and watch the water surface either in some open vessel (if the vessel is having water), or furtherstill, look into the water seal (standing water in the syphon) of the Water Closet (WC).

The logic behind to the washroom to cross check whether the earth is shaking or not is that standing water in normal situation remains flat (still). However, if there is an earthquake happening, the water closet (WC) mounted either onto the wall or on the floor, would shake, and thereby the water seal visible in its syphon would also be shaking, giving one enough indication if the earth is shaking gently or enough to run down the stairs and go to some open space for safety.

Makes sense, isn't it :-)
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