Earthquake Doomsday Scenario: Hospitals Collapse

Massive Home Front earthquake drill continues with scenario in which hospitals collapse in Eilat, Afula and Haifa.

Maayana Miskin ,

Paramedics practice evicting wounded
Paramedics practice evicting wounded
Israel news photo: MDA

The massive Home Front Command earthquake-preparedness drill continued Monday with first responders reacting to a scenario in which three hospitals were badly damaged or collapsed. The scenario assumed that Yoseftal Hospital in Eilat and Ha'emek hospital in Afula collapsed due to an earthquake, while Haifa’s Rambam Hospital was hit by a tsunami.

Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedics have been switched to 12-hour shifts to deal with the “emergency.”

Since the drill began Sunday paramedics have responded to more than 4,000 reports of earthquake-related injuries, including approximately 2,000 in which victims were said to be in moderate to serious condition with life-threatening injuries.

Hospitals were not the only buildings affected by the imaginary quake. The drill also assumes the collapse of electric wires, the mobile phone network, Eshel prison in Be’er Sheva, and many residential buildings. Many rescue workers spent Monday digging through the rubble of a "collapsed school" in a frantic search for survivors.

Blood donation teams were called on to practice a major blood drive to assist the many wounded. Blood donation sites are being kept open 24 hours a day.

One major focus of the drill is the coordination between various bodies. MDA paramedics have been working alongside both civilian and military medical teams.

The exercise even went global with an MDA practice run of appealing for international aid from the Red Cross. Medics are assuming aid will arrive shortly from the American Blood Centers (ABC), which have an agreement with the MDA.

The drill is to continue through Thursday.