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Comptroller warns Israel unprepared for major earthquake

State Comptroller Yosef Shapira warns that Israel is inadequately prepared for a major earthquake, in a special report released a week after dozens of tremors were felt in the north of the country.

Shapira says a major earthquake along the Great Rift Valley could kill as many as 7,000 people, injure tens of thousands and leave another 17,000 homeless.

He calls for emergency services and local municipalities to review the country’s readiness for dealing with a possible major earthquake.

State Comptroller reports reviewing Israel’s earthquake readiness in 2001, 2004 and 2011 found that no funding had been allocated for strengthening older buildings and other precautionary measures, due to spats between ministries over responsibility for the work.

Experts have warned that a large earthquake could strike Israel in the near future. The last major earthquake to hit the region was in 1927 — a 6.2-magnitude tremor that killed 500 people and injured 700.

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