UN sends mock assistance flights to Israel in earthquake drill

The four-day drill will include authorities simulating the arrival of emergency relief aid from abroad.

IDF Plane 521 (photo credit: Courtesy)
IDF Plane 521
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Home Front Defense Ministry launched a major earthquake drill on Sunday together with emergency services to better prepare the country for the possibility of a destructive quake.
The drill, named Extremities of the World, will last four days, and will include authorities drilling the arrival of emergency relief aid from abroad.
The United Nations and a number of states will send planes carrying relief to Ben- Gurion Airport, and ships to Ashdod sea port, as part of the drill.
Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan will visit the airport on Tuesday to inspect the exercise, and meet with members of the UN assistance team.
The drill began on Sunday morning with a simulation of a destructive earthquake.
The ability of civilian authorities – both national and local – to function under such circumstances will be tested. The ability of emergency services to offer critical assistance to the population will also be put to the test.
The drill was planned out by the Home Front Defense Ministry, and is intended as a summation of year-long preparations in Israel and abroad for the arrival of international aid and its distribution in the event of a natural disaster.
On October 20, Erdan held an emergency meeting following the latest in a series of light earthquakes that shook the Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) area.
The meeting was attended by representatives of all emergency services, including firefighters, police, Magen David Adom paramedics, the IDF Home Front Command, and government ministries that have been part of national earthquake preparations, such as the Ministries of Defense, Health, and Education.
The representatives discussed preparations for the possibility of a powerful earthquake causing an emergency situation, and ensured that all of the various agencies are prepared to react quickly.