Israel needs $10 billion to prepare for earthquake – seismologist

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 Israel needs $10 billion to prepare for earthquake - seismologist

Experts warn the Israeli government needs to plan to reinforce 800,000 buildings and critical infrastructure before it's too late, writes JP

be hit by a massive earthquake that will cause thousands of buildings to collapse, unless Israel invests billions of dollars in strengthening old structures across the country.

According to Dr. Ittai Kurzon, a seismologist at the Israel Geological Survey, the government should invest $10 billion to strengthen buildings and infrastructure built before 1980.

billion dollars — not millions, but billions — which will strengthen construction, hospitals, schools and all those very old buildings in which many people live. This is the main thing that the government should do, ", — Curzon told The Media Line.

Israel is located on the Syrian-African Rift, and the Dead Sea Rift is its main source of seismic activity.

While it is currently impossible to predict exactly when and where the next major earthquake will occur, historically, such an event in the country occurred in once a century on average.

The last major earthquake occurred in 1927, killing about 300 people and causing extensive damage to Jerusalem, Jericho and other cities.

“It will happen somewhere between Eilat and Metula on the Dead Sea Fault or Carmel Fault,” — Curzon warned.— “It will happen sooner or later, and we must prepare before it happens.”

Curzon said the $10 billion construction plan could be spread over several years to ease the economic burden. This is far less than what Israel would have to spend after a major earthquake if it did nothing to prepare.

According to the World Bank estimates, reconstruction costs in Turkey, for example, will be more than $34 billion to eliminate direct physical damage. A report released by the Turkish Confederation of Enterprises and Businesses, this figure is significantly higher than — $84 billion.

In Israel, the director of the Earthquake Preparedness Committee, Amir Yahav, recently warned a parliamentary committee that earthquake damage would cost the country $41 billion and that prevention would be a much cheaper alternative.

For its part, the Ministry of Education said, that about 1,600 schools are at risk of collapse from a major earthquake, and only 87 have been strengthened. Meanwhile, Chaim Bibbs, chairman of the Center for Local Government, told lawmakers earlier this month that about 800,000 housing units are at risk and need urgent funding by the state to prevent their destruction in case of an earthquake. said Curzon.— “I really hope not to see the same picture in Israel that we saw in Turkey. But still, when I look at the situation, I say that there will be an event of magnitude 6 or 6.5, and this will be enough to cause very great damage in Israel to lives and buildings. It will be monstrous chaos”, — said Curzon.

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