Some 95,000 structures in the Gush Dan area are likely to collapse in case of a 7.0-magnitude earthquake. According to a Home Front Command (HFC) report, 70% of the structures in central Israel were built before 1980, and as such they do not meet earthquake-resistance regulations.
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A Home Front Command official told Ynet Thursday that new structures in Israel, such as the Azrieli Towers, are not in danger of collapsing; however they are not immune to the risk of fire, which has been taken into consideration.
"We cannot prevent a disaster from occurring during an earthquake, but we can prevent it becoming a total catastrophe. Thousands of casualties is a scenario we haven’t come across yet, however it's as relevant as any other scenario," Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter said, during a Israeli Union of Local Authorities' convention held Thursday.
The Home Front Command has mapped out such a scenario ahead of "Turning Point 6" - an exercise that will take place on Sunday and will drill an earthquake evacuation.
During the drill, emergency crews will be dispatched to the site including Magen David Adom emergency services, Israel Fire and Rescue Services, as well as the HFC Reserves.
The drill will simulate, among others, a 7.3-magnitude earthquake in northern Israel and a hazardous material leak in Haifa Bay.
According to Home Front Command directives, in case of an earthquake, it is best to get out in the open and avoid staying inside a building.
"I expect each and every one who will take part in the drill, to demonstrate excellent leadership skills during an emergency situation. Our commitment to the public in times of emergency is to create stability and showcase our strength." said Home Front Command Chief Major-General Eyal Eisenberg.