Israel woefully unprepared for earthquake

Thursday, March 04, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

Like the residents of California, the citizens of Israel are waiting for "the big one." Israel sits on one of the largest fault lines in the world, the Syria-Africa Rift, and experts are sure a major earthquake is going to take place here sooner or later.

And when it does, those same experts say Israel is going to suffer massive devastation due to a lack of proper preparation.

In an address to the Knesset on Tuesday, former State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss lamented that the recommendations of his predecessor following a minor earthquake in Israel in 2004 had yet to be implemented.

Focus on earthquake preparation has intensified following January's hugely deadly earthquake in Haiti, where Israeli aid teams played a major role that was recognized and praised around the world.

Lindenstrauss noted that Israel is always one of the first to help others hit by earthquakes or other natural disasters, but has done so little to prepare itself.

Much like in Haiti, a large number of the buildings in Israel were built over 50 years ago, when building codes were more lax and did not always factor in the possibility of earthquakes. A large earthquake in Israel today would cause many of those buildings to crumble.

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