The State Comptroller, retired judge Yosef Shapira, published the report on “State Preparedness for an Earthquake” on Wednesday afternoon, which examines the preparedness of national infrastructures and buildings in the State of Israel.
In light of recent earthquakes in the north, the State Comptroller instructed the publication of the report, which presents an up-to-date picture of the deficiencies in earthquake assessments.
Experts in the field believe that the occurrence of a strong earthquake, with all its severe consequences, is almost certain. Its impact on different regions of the country will be enormous. According to the government-approved preparedness examination, in the event of a major earthquake, Israel could expect 7,000 fatalities, 8,600 people seriously injured, 37,000 people lightly injured, 9,500 people trapped in rubble and 170,000 made homeless.
From July 2017 to February 2018, the State Comptroller’s Office examined the preparedness of the country’s infrastructure bodies for earthquakes. Completion tests were conducted by May 2018. The audit focused on the preparation phase prior to the occurrence of an earthquake.
The report found that out of the over-70 bridges in Israel considered to be at high levels of seismic risk, only three had been reinforced.
It was also found that of the 1,600 schools which needed to be reinforced against earthquakes, only 50 had been reinforced so far and only 200 were in the planning stages to be reinforced. The structures which require reinforcement are those which were built before 1984, when new construction was required to adhere to current standards of earthquake durability.