In the wake of the Haiti earthquake the Israeli press has been writing about the possibility of a major earthquake along Israel’s faultlines. But experts don’t consider it a possibility. It’s a certainty, the only question is when.
During a discussion at the Internal Affairs Committee following the recent disaster in the Caribbean country, Shapira stated, “Granted one can’t predict them or their date, but we must accept that what will kill people is not an earthquake. What kills them is the building.”
In 1980, the Knesset passed laws requiring new buildings to be built according to standards that prevent the building’s collapse during an earthquake. But only a few dozen old buildings been reinforced, despite a plan meant to encourage this. I heard one expert say that he hopes the earthquake will occur between 7 and 8 am, when most people are on their way to school or work. If it happens during school hours, a generation of children could be lost.
As individuals we can’t do much about that except lobby for change. All of us, though, can secure furniture, lock cabinets with heavy items, and have an emergency plan in place.
Recommendations for behavior during earthquakes have been updated during recent years. If the ground begins to shake, don’t try to move too far. If you are in bed, cover your head with your pillow. During the day move away from exterior walls and climb under the nearest desk or table, unless you are a few steps from a safe room or a stairwell.
Instructions in English from the Home Front Command.
An earthquake preparation game to play with your kids.
A Haitian man survives for 12 days under the rubble.
Fleas Are Worse than Bombs