Multinational Earthquake Drill Off Haifa Coast

YERUSHALAYIM -

Ten foreign navies were scheduled to participate in a multinational simulated earthquake rescue operation off the coast of Haifa starting Sunday and ending on Thursday, the Times of Israel reported.

Residents were advised not to be alarmed if they see unusually large numbers of helicopters overhead and foreign ships off the coast.

The identities of the countries taking part were not immediately available.

Experts have warned a large earthquake could strike Israel in the near future. Col. Itzik Bar from the IDF’s Home Front Command last year estimated potential casualties from a major quake at 7,000 dead and 200,000 homeless.

Last year, the state comptroller repeatedly criticized Israeli authorities for failing to take the necessary measures to protect the population and national infrastructure.