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Harefuah. 2001 Sep;140(9):877-82, 893.

[Recommendations for earthquake preparedness in Israel].

[Article in Hebrew]

Author information

  • 1Metuna Organization for Road Safety, Loewenstein Hospital-Rehabilitation Centre.


Earthquakes have occurred in the past in our region, along the Afro-Syrian fault line and along the eastern border of Israel. Several earthquakes had a magnitude between 6.25 and 6.5 on the Richter scale and caused severe damage to the populated areas in the Galilee, the Judean Hills and along the coastline. The last major earthquake occurred in 1927 in the Jordan Valley and caused more than 300 fatalities and extensive property damage. If we consider the present densely populated regions in the areas at risk, the occurrence of an earthquake with a magnitude of > 6.25 will constitute a major disaster, causing thousands of casualties and extensive property and economic damage. Israel is presently planning a comprehensive response to mitigate the damages by enforcing existing anti-seismic building codes, retrofitting of public buildings, including hospitals and utilizing all available manpower and material resources in case of such an event. The health sector is a vital part of the overall preparedness and response. Hospitals have to plan alternative sites for continued activity and increase the number of beds. Army medical teams will have to operate in the disaster area in conjunction and coordination with the Home Front Command rescue teams and the EMS. Public and primary health services will have to be reinforced to deal with acute and chronic health problems in the wake of the disaster. The burial of the dead and their identification will become a major logistic and emotional problem and must be planned in advance. Preparedness includes establishing contact with NGOs and agencies in countries, which may render medical assistance in such an event.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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