Expert: ‘What Happened In Haiti Will Happen In Israel’

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haiti8An earthquake of the same magnitude as the one two weeks ago in Haiti or stronger is certain to strike Israel, Avi Shapira, chairman of the National Earthquake Preparedness Committee, said today.

“I just returned from Haiti,” Shapira told a special Knesset committee that gathered in the wake of the Haiti disaster to discuss Israel’s readiness to deal with earthquakes. “What happened there will also happen here.”

Shapira warned that hospitals are not prepared for such a disaster and that, according to his estimates, most buildings constructed before 1980 would not withstand a quake.

Previous estimates held that 40 to 50 percent of residential buildings in Israel were not constructed in accordance with guidelines meant to prevent damage in case of an earthquake. However, Shapira said the actual number is closer to 20 percent.

“The situation is not optimal,” Shapira told the committee comprising members of the Foreign Affairs and Defense and Interior and Environment committees, adding that Israel is waking up to the threat of earthquakes.

Shapira also told the committee that while it is impossible to know when an earthquake would strike, Israel must take precautions to minimize potential damage.

Israel has been struck by minor quakes and tremors in recent years that have caused no casualties. The last major earthquake to strike the area was in 1927. It had a magnitude of more than 6 and killed 500 people.

Israeli experts have said that because of population growth and high-rise construction, an earthquake of the same magnitude today would kill more than 18,000 people.

{Haaretz/Yair Israel}


  1. We just have to do teshuva. When anything in the world like this happens, its supposed to be a wake up call to klal yisroel. Hashem is warning us that if we don’t shape up- we are next… so in essence this guy isn’t wrong!

  2. I totally agree and i am ready for it to happen as i watch each tragedy befall Klal Yisroel & not learn anything from it as a wake up call for us to wake up & do Teshuva (repent) & return to Hashem as it says AIN PORA’NE’IUS BAOLAM ELA BISHVIL YISROEL (NO tragedy bafalls the world except because of Klal Yisroel) what can we say? all these tragedies are coincidence? or are they wake up calls each time to reurn to Hashem so Hashem can bring us the Ge’ula finally? May we all wake up before another Tragedy hits the world (rather in israel or anywhere else)

  3. Teshuva is always a good idea, but let’s not forget the main point here. Israel is not prepared for an earthquake of this magnitude. Steps need to be taken to make sure that when the earthquake hits, we can limit causalities and respond effectively.

  4. Whilst obviously we need to do hishtadlut to be prepared there’s no need to ‘curse’ ourselves like that r’l! May they all go on our sonim (as happened when HaRav Khaduri zt’l made a tikkun in Eilat and the soon following quake happened in Egypt instead)


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