Whether you're in them or on them, it's the last place you want to be during an earthquake. English to American translation becomes important in situations like these, but more about that in a bit. If you're a tourist at the summit of Mauna Kea, you can always relieve yourself off the summit ridge, just don't let anyone catch you doing that.
I lived in the UK for nearly thirty years and was and still am quite patriotic about the place despite it going to absolute hell in recent years. Now I live in a relatively small island, despite its name, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. In the last three days I have experienced everything that makes me want to continue living here. In those 72-hours I've experienced an earthquake, near-hurricane force winds, freezing temperatures, ice, snow, a drive up to the summit of Mauna Kea that'll test even the best dentures even in a well-equipped 4-WD and views that'll knock anyone's socks off.
(We may have also detected the most distant object yet observed in our universe during all the excitement - by a long way. Or it may be something much more mundane - more later. It'd be quite cool if I was the observer that for a short period of time looked back further in time than anyone else on this planet! People will look back in history and say "Oh yeah, he's the guy that looked back in time further than anyone else and was confused about bathrooms and toilets.").
Driving back home today from the mountain I experienced heavy rain, thunderstorms, flooding and finally when I got home, a forecast of flooding rivaling biblical proportions that we'd be getting in the next day or so. To make it worse, the forecast says it'll be just great on Sunday and Monday and then make sure you have a boat or at the very least a life vest for the middle of next week, as the rains will start again.
I'll moan about it, but truthfully I actually enjoy it! My yard may have washed away, but at least I've had a bit of excitement as well as some fear and one day I will write about the lightning storm a few years ago when my psychologist allows me to. I still haven't recovered from that event but I'm told one day I will...
So, back to the bathroom business. Those that live on the windward side of the Big Island will know we had another earthquake on Tuesday. It wasn't huge, but it was felt all the way up at 9,000-feet on Mauna Kea. It wasn't a jolt, it was a slow swaying that got stronger, then levelled out for a bit before weakening and then stopping, but the swaying went on a bit longer than normal.
Those that live in earthquake zones know the rules, dive under something solid. What do you do if you're sat on the toilet in the bathroom with your pants around your ankles?
Do you dive under the doorway because that might be the safest place in the middle of a large dormitory with dozens of other people staying there, or do you just continue to sit on the loo and hope that if the building collapses your rescuers will understand?
Actually, it wasn't that big an earthquake, but since I was occupied in the restroom at the time, I wondered what the official advice might be. HP residents, at least those I told, looked a little puzzled when I asked them what I should do when I was in the toilet and it starts to shake.