Monday, June 30, 2008

Israeli authorities warn hospitals to prepare for earthquake

A strong earthquake could soon rock Lebanon and parts of Israel, authorities said on Monday, urging health officials in northern Israel to make preparations for such an event."The probability of an earthquake of a magnitude of up to six on the Richter scale, originating in Lebanon and being felt in Israel has increased," the health ministry said in a letter sent to medical officials in northern Israel.Since February, abnormal seismic activity has been noted in southern Lebanon, which had suffered some 500 minor earthquakes in a three-month period, health ministry director-general Avi Yisraeli said in the letter."In May, the tremors have become more intense and were felt in northern Israel," he said adding that "should an earthquake of such magnitude hit northern Israel it may cause substantial infrastructural damage in the area.""All medical facilities and organisations must do everything they can to enhance the level of readiness," Yisraeli said in the letter published by the ministry on Monday.Some seismological experts point out quakes historically have rocked the region every eight decades, and the last one was just about 81 years ago. About 300 people were killed in Jerusalem and nearby Jericho by the July 11, 1927 temblor.A similar quake measuring seven on the Richter scale and with an epicentre in the Hula Valley, today in northern Israel, devastated the town of Safed and killed some 4,000 people in 1837.
As in the days of Noah...

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