Israeli infrastructure prepared for massive earthquake, MKs told

Water and gas infrastructure systems could withstand a serious earthquake, representatives of critical industries told the Knesset Special Committee for the Examination of Earthquake Preparedness on Monday. Erez Vedbeker, engineer in the safety branch of the National Infrastructures Ministry, was asked whether the ministry was prepared for an uncontrolled gas leak. Vedbeker replied that the ministry intended to install a mechanism to prevent leaks and that he would return to the committee with an answer to the question. Dr. Rami Hofstadter and Dr. Rivka Amit from the Geophysics Institute showcased some of the institute's tools for detecting and evaluating earthquakes. The institute recently developed a system for estimating potential damage called "Nessquake." They have also been developing an early warning system, in conjunction with Japan, which could give as much as a 15-second warning if the center of the quake was at some distance. Amit told the committee that the institute's data was used in three ways: it was incorporated into building codes, delivered to the Interior Ministry for use in planning cities, and used for an assessment of the threat of earthquakes in area surveys and to hazardous materials.