The UK was one of 10 navies to participate in Israel’s largest ever naval exercise this week in Haifa. The aftermath of a powerful earthquake was simulated in the first Israeli Navy exercise dedicated exclusively to earthquake response.
The scenario-based ‘Mighty Waves 2019’ exercise brought together representatives and navies from nine other countries including the UK and other NATO members.
The exercise simulated the aftermath of a 7.5 magnitude earthquake, with the assumption that it would cause 200,000 lives to be lost, 250,000 homes to collapse and the destruction of vital infrastructure.
Commander of the Haifa Base, Brig. Gen. Gil Aginsky said: “Today we understand that in such an event, we will have to work with a coalition of several countries that will provide us with assistance, and that most of the activity will be by sea, because it wouldn’t be possible to travel on the highways”.
During the exercise, participating countries took part in search and rescue operations in addition to the delivery of humanitarian aid from allied military vessels.
Israel is based upon a Syrian-African rift and the last major earthquake to strike the region was 92 years ago in 1927. Seismologists say that earthquakes of such a magnitude occur around every 100 years in the region.