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Israel holds earthquake drill in schools

(Xinhua)

10:06, February 21, 2012

JERUSALEM, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Israel's Home Front Command conducted a simultaneous earthquake exercise on Monday in schools all over the country.

The drill was a joint exercise held by the Home Front Command along with the Ministry of Education, the Israel Police, Magen David Adom, the Fire and Rescue Services, as well as local authorities.

All schools and kindergartens in Israel participated in the drill, which was intended to raise the alertness of the education system to "an earthquake scenario" and to test the effectiveness of the procedures during and following such an event, according to a statement from the Israel Defense Forces.

The aim of the drill "is to strengthen the cooperation between local authority and the educational establishment along with the Home Front Command, Emergency Services and volunteers from different organizations," the statement said.

Last spring, a similar drill throughout schools in Israel was staged by the Home Front, including a missile strike.

Parts of Israel and the West Bank lay on the Syrian-African fault line. The last earthquake to hit Israel was a magnitude 4.2 one in last August.

"The danger zone in Israel are in the north: Tiberias, Jerusalem and Kiryat Shmona," Vladimir Pinsky of The Geophysical Institute of Israel told Xinhua. "But again, the possibilities of a big earthquake here are very slim," he added.

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