Today there was another minor earthquake, in Egypt, but felt in Eilat, measuring at 3.3. That makes seven earthquakes in six days, six of the seven taking place in the north, around the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). There were two yesterday – a 3.3 and a 2.2; on Thursday there was a 3.5; there was one on Shabbat (Saturday), that also measured at 3.5, and two on Sunday, both measuring at 3.6. Today’s was a surprising change, since it was felt in Eilat (all the way at the southern tip of Israel), instead of in the north.
Obviously, since we are so far away from both of them, we didn’t feel any of these quakes, and only know about it from the news. Also, a few weeks ago, Yitzchak got a brilliant idea and called a friend who is on the city council, to find out that his brilliant idea is correct (I still don’t fully believe it and won’t until I see a source, but he has a point): All the buildings here are built according to the earthquake codes, even though most of these buildings were built before 1980, when the codes went into effect. The reason? The building codes for earthquake safety are good for nuclear blasts, too. (Not that I understand why the city would care, since we don’t have a nuclear reactor, but maybe one day when we get one they’ll decide to put it near this city.)
So now our emergency kit, started several months ago, is getting finished at an accelerated pace. Not completely finished – we don’t have iodine pills yet, and we don’t have stuff to seal rooms during chemical warfare – but the basic stuff will be finished. One thing that I want to put in is our marriage contract – according to Jewish law, a couple is not allowed to live in the same house if they don’t have their ketuba (marriage contract). I want to put it in the bag, so that it’s there. Yitzchak wants to keep it in the house. Maybe we should get a second one written, and that way if we ever decide to divorce, I’ll get double the amount of money. (Just kidding, it doesn’t work that way, and getting a second copy written is complicated, because technically I could take one copy to one court and demand money for it, and then take the other copy to the other court and demand money for it, and so to prevent that, there are rules about how to write a second copy and when it’s allowed, etc.)
It’s kind of nerve wracking to be hearing about all these earthquakes and that seismologists aren’t sure what will happen next. On the other hand, seismology is not yet the most accurate of sciences, and the status changes often, soooo . . .
The experts don’t think that these small quakes change the likelihood of a big one. On the other hand, they say that if a bit one happens, it’s each man for himself, and it’s up to us to make sure we’re prepared.
But you know what? Every place has its issues. We are much safer right now than we were in Jerusalem, for a lot of reasons. And, we can keep our bag in the bomb shelter, which almost certainly will still be standing straight after any size earthquake, because it’s just a big metal box with windows and a door.
All I can do is pray that if a major earthquake does hit, we’ll all be together, and preferably near home, so we can find our blankets, emergency kit, and everything else – even if we have to dig a bit. Hopefully, Yitzchak and his city-council friend are right and our building will still be standing strong. But most important is that we’re together. Next most important – that we find our bag – it has photocopies of critical documents, supplies, and everything else.
Please, G-d, just do us a favor and keep us together, safe, and close to home.