Photo Credit: Miriam Alster / Flash 90
Israeli State Comptroller Matanyahu Englmann on Dec. 31, 2019.

State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman warned Sunday that Israel is still not ready to grapple with the aftermath of a major earthquake.

His comments came in the wake of a 6.8-magnitude earthquake late Friday night that killed more than 2,000 people and injured more than 2,000 more, including more than a thousand with critical injuries.


“It seems that despite the warning signs the State of Israel has failed in its preparations for an earthquake,” Englman said.

Israeli geologists have been warning for years that the Jewish State is “overdue” for a major quake due to Israel’s location on the highly active Syria-Africa fault line. Sometimes referred to as the Great Rift Valley or the Syria-Africa rift, the fault line runs from Syria and Turkey down the Jordan River Valley, along the Dead Sea and down to the Red Sea.

“Instead of waiting for a Commission of Inquiry” after a tragedy has already occurred, the prime minister and the relevant minister must correct the deficiencies immediately,” he urged.

The comptroller added that he plans to release a detailed report after the Jewish High Holy Days, which begin with Rosh Hashana this coming Friday evening.

“Israel’s position on the Great Rift Valley, along with the fact that there have been a number of strong earthquakes throughout history, indicates that at any moment there may be another major earthquake in the country,” Israel’s Home Front Command still warns on its website.

“In Israel, there have been many earthquakes throughout history, some of them powerful and deadly. Experience from around the world shows that wherever earthquakes have occurred in the past, earthquakes are likely to occur in the future. Therefore, another strong earthquake is expected to occur in Israel, but we cannot predict when and how powerful it will be.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.