2 min read
Israelis on Earthquakes: Voices In The Crowd

For this edition of Voices in the Crowd, we will be discussing the topic of earthquakes in Israel. We interviewed several Israelis to gauge their level of concern about the possibility of an earthquake occurring in their country and their thoughts on measures that should be taken to protect against it. Their answers showed varying degrees of concern and opinions on how to mitigate the potential effects of an earthquake.

Question 1: How concerned are you about a potential earthquake in Israel?

Omri: I am not that concerned about a potential earthquake.

Benny: I am not concerned at all.

Yoram: With the recent earthquakes in the area, I've gotten more concerned about a potential earthquake in Israel, especially because the IDF released a report saying there is a major earthquake in Israel every 100 years, which is supposed to come up soon. And I believe that Israel is not at all ready for a major earthquake.

Lucas: I'm not worried at all.

Sasha: I’m not concerned about an earthquake in Israel.

Eden: As far as I know, we're not near any major fault lines where we can experience aftershocks like the recent ones in Turkey. I believe our country is relatively wealthy with strict regulations around building codes, and most of our buildings are earthquake-proof. Therefore, there is no need to worry about major building collapses since they are rare occurrences. In the event of an earthquake, the army is quite active and can mobilize quickly to respond. There will likely be quick funding as well since our country is considered to have a high income. If any other countries were in a similar situation with comparable regulations, they would also likely receive a lot of aid.

Roy: I am concerned, yes.

Sarah: I am not concerned.

Question 2: Do you think Israel should immediately take measures to protect against earthquakes, including mandating building codes and demolishing old buildings?

Omri: Yes, definitely.

Benny: Yes, the government should always take action to protect and provide security for their citizens.

Yoram: Israel should start making the current buildings earthquake proof immediately. I know that the building codes are a lot stricter than they were 40 years ago but I don't have enough expertise to comment on if it would be enough.

Eden: With the current regulations, it's important to identify any problematic areas or loopholes. Recently, the government has made a public announcement regarding education and schools, emphasizing the need for earthquake preparedness. In terms of older buildings, retrofitting should be considered as an option to address any issues. If retrofitting is not possible, then some buildings may need to be demolished, but extra considerations should be given to those with cultural or historical significance. Additionally, we should conduct drills and practices on a national scale to test the chain of command within these procedures and situations.

Lucas: Yes, they should take measures to ensure strict structural standards to prevent earthquakes.

Sasha: I think every country should have infrastructures and buildings that are secure enough in case of an earthquake.

Roy: I do believe there is something similar to that in place already. But looking at it as a general picture I do believe it is too late.

Sarah: I don't see how they [the Israeli government] can possibly manage to do something about it now. They have people that recommend what you should do if an earthquake were to happen, so that would need more advertising, that way more people would know how to respond.

Question 3: Have you ever been in an earthquake? And what would you do if such a scenario were to happen in Israel

Omri: I've already been in one when I was a child in kindergarten. If we had another one, I'd make sure to follow the protocols. After following the protocols and the earthquake subsides, I'd try and look for people that may have been trapped under the rubble.

Benny: I have never been in an earthquake, but if one were to happen I would go out of the house and take shelter in the Mamad (bomb shelter)

Yoram: Growing up in Holland I've never experienced an earthquake and would have to read more about the safety regulations on what to do in the event of an earthquake.

Eden: I have never been in an earthquake before, but I know what to do. If an earthquake occurs, I would quickly take cover underneath a table so that any falling objects would not hit me. If I had the time and the earthquake was not too severe, I might try to leave the building through the stairs and get some distance from the building or any objects that might fall. However, my actions would depend on my awareness of any potential tsunami or other natural disasters that might occur after the earthquake.

Lucas: Yes, but I was unable to do anything because I was inside a building.

Sasha: I’ve experienced a small earthquake before. If I experienced another, I would go to the shelter.

Roy: Yes, I was in an earthquake in Thessalonica where balconies were falling off the buildings, the whole street was rumbling, and I was preparing to meet my maker. If such a scenario were to happen in Israel I would pray.

Sarah: I have never been in an earthquake, I would probably go and stand outside in an open space.

* The email will not be published on the website.