• Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

Knesset Planning on Reviewing Earthquake Readiness in the Next Week

Feb 7, 2023

Next week, a meeting has been urgently called meeting for a top-level Knesset committee in order to review the readiness of the country for earthquakes.

The meeting was called following the deadly earthquakes in Syria and Turkey that have already claimed the lives of thousands of people.

The meeting

Ya’akov Asher, the chair of the Internal Affairs and Environment Committee of the Knesset, will invite all emergency agencies and government ministries for attending the meeting.

A Knesset spokesperson said that the meeting will evaluate the state of buildings in Israel and emergency agencies’ readiness for dealing with a crisis.

Meanwhile, the office of the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said that he had informed Tzachi Hanegbi, the chairman of the National Security Council, to perform a situational assessment of the government’s readiness for earthquakes.

The PMO said that a meeting will soon be held on the matter by Hanegbi with all relevant ministries. Matanyahu Englman, the State Comptroller, also sounded the alarm on Monday.

He urged the authorities to take steps to ensure that Israel is prepared for a potentially devastating earthquake and highlighted the urgency of doing so by referring to the disastrous situation in Turkey and Syria.

Earthquake warning

During a presentation, Englman said that authorities and the government of Israel should see these earthquakes as a bright warning light.

An earthquake of a 7.8 magnitude struck northern Syria and southeastern Turkey on Monday, which saw buildings topple and almost 2,300 people have died so far.

Some parts of Israel also felt the earthquake, but no damage has been reported. Later in the day, there were more temblors in Syria and Turkey and one was of a 7.5 magnitude.

Englman said that the earthquake had also been felt in Israel, which makes it the last minute for preparations to be made in order to avoid a similar disaster in the country.

He said that the government should work on pre-disaster preparedness, rather than wait for a commission of inquiry after disaster strikes.

The comptroller

The State Comptroller appealed to the housing construction and interior ministry and said that they should take immediate action to ensure the preparedness of Israel for earthquakes.

He also added that his office would publish a report soon regarding the preparedness for earthquakes of local authorities and that of emergency services for the consequences.

Five local authorities were the focus of the review that had been carried out in the previous year and these lie along the Great Rift Valley.

These authorities are considered to be at the highest risk, which include Hatzor HaGlilit, Kiryat Shmona, Safed, Tiberias and Beit She’an.

Different government ministries and bodies have also been examined in the report, including the national mapping center, the Interior Ministry and the inter-ministerial steering committee.

According to Englman, the previous reviews they had conducted in the areas and others had found that there had not been proper implementation of the TAMA 38 plan aimed at strengthening the buildings that are at risk.

This means that they need to take other action.

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