Israeli Navy

Israel’s Navy simulated an exercise for a major earthquake and tsunami that would hit Israeli infrastructure and cause tens of thousands of injuries on Monday.

Eleven countries participated in the week-long drill in Haifa.

Data illustrates a substantial earthquake every century in the region. The last one in Israel took place in 1927.

“This is the largest international exercise the Israeli Navy has led to date,” said Brig. Gen. Gil Aginsky commander of the navy’s Haifa base.

A comprehensive training modelled a humanitarian crisis sparked by a 7.0 magnitude tremor and tsunami striking the coastal plain of Israel.

Troops predicted huge damage and selected a port to assist as a maritime gateway.

Navy’s from the United States, Greece and France participated in the main exercise at Haifa Port.

Germany, Italy, Canada, Chile and Cyprus coordinated real-time help and offered information on their own experiences.

Given Syria and Lebanon are enemy States and assuming Egypt and Jordan would be hit, Israel would become an island.

Most international aid would arrive by sea, only a minority would be come by air in such a scenario.

“A small aircraft carrier can deliver in one go what a C17 transport plane could bring in 54 sorties,” Aginsky explained.

“We also practiced bringing assistance by air, but in such a situation we would have to deliver items that could be brought by sea, such as heavy engineering equipment including cranes and bulldozers for evacuation and treatment at multiple sites of destruction.”

Planners utilised factual information from IDF assistance in the 2010 Haiti earthquake that killed 200,000 people, affected 3 million and destroyed hundreds of thousands of buildings.

“Then too, they used the naval presence as an independent aid center, with a naval hospital that did not depend on infrastructure on land and created a logistics base at sea,” a Navy spokesman said.

“During our exercise we practiced our response to the damage to roads from Haifa southwards. When you act in such a coalition, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and could also be applied to scenarios such as major fires or boats sinking.”

Facilitators practiced inter-organisational cooperation with the National Emergency Authority at the Defense Ministry, Haifa Port, Rambam Hospital in Haifa, IDF Technology and Logistics Directorate and Foreign Ministry.

“Each played their own part,” commented the spokesman.

By Adam Moses