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Israeli Officials on Alert After Checks Reveal Dozens of Hazardous Factories Aren't Earthquake-Proof

© Screenshot/Moshe SchwartzScreenshot captures latest exchange of fire between Palestinian and Israeli forces on January 27, 2023.
Screenshot captures latest exchange of fire between Palestinian and Israeli forces on January 27, 2023. - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.02.2023
Amid major earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, Israeli authorities carried out readiness and equipment checks on multiple facilities handling hazardous chemical substances. The shocking results have since put officials on alert.
Israeli authorities have sounded the alarm after a recent examination of factories handling hazardous material across Israel were deemed unfit to withstand an earthquake scenario in the near future.
Israel's Ministry of Environment has detailed that there is only one person in the agency who is currently supervising factories and implementing earthquake preparedness plans, local media reported.
The ministry identified 149 factories producing and storing hazardous chemicals as potentially hazardous to the public in the event of an earthquake. Of the selected establishments, only 99 are up to par on inspections.
However, while some plants made improvements some 50 factories have yet to meet the ministry's standards. Additionally, the environmental ministry is demanding more funds to pay staff to supervise such plants.
Experts have pinpointed the following three locations as the most problematic areas:
Haifa Bay (because of a fault that runs through the territory, which is home to many petrochemical and other heavy industries)
Ramle (due to the Israeli city's specific geological conditions, as well as the local Nesher cement factory that poses a considerable threat)
Ramat Hovav industrial site (sits above the active Syrian African tectonic fault and serves as headquarters to various chemical plants)
In the wake of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, which were also felt in Israel, the Ministry reports it is consulting with the Home Front Command and the Israel Fire and Rescue Service.

"Due to the location of the State of Israel along the Syrian African Rift, the entire territory of the country can be defined as a seismogenic zone that may be damaged in the event of an earthquake," the ministry warned.

There are many parameters that affect the resilience of a company in the event of an earthquake. When calculating the risks to which plants with hazardous substances are exposed, the geological structure of the area in which the plant is located, the type of structure, the hazard level of the stored materials and their proximity to a residential area and many others, are taken into account.
These and other criteria were developed following a government decree of April 2010. The Ministry of the Environment was tasked at the time with developing the necessary requirements and supervising the improvement of the earthquake resistance of enterprises with hazardous materials in the event of earthquakes.
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