Tel Aviv Beaches Get Tsunami Warning Signs

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israel’s first tsunami wave simulation, named “Blue Tidal Wave.” (Corinna Kern/Flash90)

Israel is not considered a high-risk country for tsunamis, but the Tel Aviv Municipality and Israel Police on Thursday decided that signs warning of the possibility of a giant wave hitting Israel’s coast were necessary anyway. The new signs warn that Tel Aviv beaches are a “tsunami hazard zone,” with the warning listed in English, Hebrew and Arabic. However, instructions on what to do are listed only in Hebrew and Arabic.

The signs instruct those at the beach to “seek a higher elevation,” “proceed to a safe area,” and “follow signs and instructions of safety officials” in the event a tsunami strikes. The signs will soon be deployed in Haifa as well, and afterwards will be placed on beaches throughout the country.

Betzalel Trieber, head of the National Emergency Authority, which funded the signs, said in a statement Thursday that “earthquakes, which can cause tsunamis, are a common occurrence in our region, and they cannot be controlled. We do not know when they will strike, or how strong they will be. With that, we need to be prepared for anything that happens, including the possibility of a tsunami. We aim to provide the best response in the wake of such a major disaster.”