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Israel starts a four-day drill to improve its earthquake response capability

By 03/12/2023 4:52 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff

A four-day international drill simulating the acceptance of outside aid in the case of a significant earthquake was started by Israel on Sunday.

The exercise will simulate every step involved in an emergency, from the first decision to call for outside help to integrating foreign rescue personnel to receiving and distributing the relief.

In collaboration with regional emergency and rescue agencies, the National Emergency Management Authority of the Israeli Defense Ministry is in charge of the exercise. One hundred twenty participants from 17 nations are taking part, including teams from the European Union, the United Nations, Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Romania, Spain, and Sweden.

Together with these scenarios, the teams will practice evacuation drills, search and rescue operations, and damage assessment procedures.

The devastation caused by the earthquake in Turkey has further highlighted our difficulties, according to IDF Brig. Gen. (res.) Yoram Laredo, director of the National Emergency Management Authority, has set 2023 as the year to strengthen the nation’s earthquake preparedness.

“The highly regarded cooperation with our friends overseas is a critical aspect in achieving this and strengthens the State of Israel’s potential to receive considerable humanitarian relief in disaster situations,” he continued.

The World Health Organization has dubbed the Feb. 6 earthquakes in Turkey, accompanied by hundreds of aftershocks, the deadliest natural disaster to hit the country in a century. More than 40,000 people were killed.

The Israel Defense Forces sent “Operation Olive Branches” to Turkey in response to the fatal earthquakes on February 6, and it helped 19 people escape the rubble.

Emergency medical professionals from the defense and health ministries, fire and rescue agencies, Magen David Adom, United Hatzalah, and Zaka, among others, supported the Israeli military’s 400+ member group.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed Tzachi Hanegbi, the head of the National Security Council, to “upgrade” Israel’s earthquake readiness in the aftermath of the Turkey disaster.

State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman encouraged the government not to wait, saying the string of fatal earthquakes in the area should be considered a warning. The Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee called for an emergency meeting.

Experts have emphasized how worrying Israel’s current level of earthquake preparedness is. According to a 2018 analysis by the outgoing comptroller, a significant earthquake may cause 7,000 fatalities and uproot 170,000 people.

According to a report from the previous year, 600,000 buildings in the nation do not adhere to the requirements for earthquake resilience.

Israel is situated along the Great Rift Valley, an active geological fault line that poses several considerable risks to the region, including frequent small earthquakes and possibly more severe seismic events.

A significant earthquake has historically occurred in Israel roughly every 100 years. The nation last had a powerful earthquake in 1927.

This 6.2-magnitude earthquake caused 284 fatalities and 940 injuries.



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