The magnitude of the earthquake that struck Port au Prince was 7.0 on the Richter scale, with an epicenter 15 kilometers from the city and at a depth of 10 kilometers. In 1770 a powerful earthquake occurred, destroying the city, but many years have passed and it has slipped from Haiti's national memory.
In Israel the last destructive earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.2 on the Richter scale, occurred in 1927. Its epicenter was the Dead Sea, and its effects were felt in Jerusalem, Nablus, Jericho, Ramle and Tiberias, resulting in 500 deaths and injuries to 700. An earthquake in 1837 killed 5,000 people. According to the Jewish historian Josephus Flavius, in 31 B.C.E., 30,000 people lost their lives in an earthquake.
On average, a destructive earthquake takes place in Israel once every 80 years, causing serious casualties and damage. The more time passes since the previous earthquake, the closer we are to the next. In other words, we are running out of time.The news from Port au Prince suggests that the destruction is complete - of buildings and infrastructure. The earthquake occurred in the afternoon, at a time when schools and public buildings were empty.
The main concern in Israel is that an earthquake would strike during hours when public buildings are populated. Most schools and hospitals in Israel were constructed before new building codes - which take into account the effects of earthquakes - were enacted. Moreover, some 50,000 residential buildings in Israel do not meet the new codes and are expected to collapse in the event of an earthquake. Even though this fact is known by all decision makers, nothing has been done to strengthen buildings and prevent them turning into death traps.
Billions of shekels are invested in the defense budget, and this is seen as an obvious investment, but reinforcing hospitals or schools so they can withstand earthquakes and their aftermath receives no allotment. The plan for installing safety cages in classrooms may be a move in the right direction, but in practice their installation has not begun and the budget for this will most likely be taken from the funds allotted for reinforcing buildings.
It is important to note that public buildings will have to serve as places of refuge for many after a disaster. Also, even though there have been plans and government decisions, the program for reinforcing buildings, especially in towns situated in high-risk areas - along the Jordan Rift Valley and the Zevulun Valley - has not been promoted sufficiently.It does not appear that in the coming decade the situation will change, even though the danger of a powerful earthquake is no less than that of a nuclear disaster - with the difference that we know that an earthquake occurs on average every 80 years.
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Oh...There certainly is a major earthquake scheduled for Israel in the future. We know exactly when it will take place, and the precise location of its center. When it takes place - when our Lord returns to deliver the remnant from the City - Jerusalem and the nation of Israel will experience a violent earthquake such as the world has never seen before, nor will it ever see again. Nothing could ever be done to insure protection against that earth-shaking event.
Zechariah 14:4-5 NKJV
And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the LORD my God will come, And all the saints with You.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus!