Israel’s Defense Ministry Calls Emergency Meeting Amid Ongoing Earthquakes

Japan suffers frequent seismic activity and holds a nationwide drill on September 1 -- the anniversary of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, that killed 100,000 people and destroyed Tokyo
AFP

TEL AVIV – The Defense Ministry has convened an emergency session to review the country’s preparedness to deal with a major earthquake amid several minor ones that hit the north and center of Israel in recent days.

The meeting will include officials from the country’s fire and rescue services, the army’s Home Front Command, police, the Magen David Adom ambulance service and municipal authorities, Channel 2 reported.

The ministry’s National Emergency Authority will lead the meeting, scheduled for Wednesday.

On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset that Israel was preparing a “multi-year plan with many resources to deal with the question of earthquakes.”

On Sunday, four earthquakes ranging from 3.1 to 3.9 on the Richter Scale were felt in Tiberias, after an earthquake measuring 3.4 in magnitude was felt Saturday morning.

On Wednesday and Thursday, earthquakes measuring 4.1, 4.3 and 3.2 respectively were felt in the same area.

The region’s last major earthquake, measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale, occurred in 1927 and claimed the lives of 500 people and injured another 700.

Bezalel Treiber, former head of the National Emergency Management Authority, warned that many of Israel’s older apartments were not protected against earthquakes.

“Tens of thousands of apartments are not reinforced and there is a high danger they will be damaged,” Treiber told Israel’s Army Radio.

 

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