CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - A municipality official said Monday that Jerusalem-area schools would not withstand a major earthquake.
According to Avraham Ben Nun, if a major quake occurred during school hours, a tragedy of major proportions could easily happen.
"If a quake hits between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., a whole generation will be lost," Ben Nun told members of a Knesset committee tasked with evaluating the country's earthquake preparedness.
Last month, Ministry of Education representatives reported that 50 percent of the nation's schools were constructed before earthquake building standards were issued in 1980, leaving half of Israeli schoolchildren in buildings that could collapse during a major quake.
In February, tremors from a 5.3-magnitude earthquake that struck southern Lebanon caused a section of pavement to cave in on Jerusalem's Temple Mount.
On average, Israel experiences a major earthquake once every 100 years. The last major earthquake, measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, occurred in 1927 and caused 500 fatalities.
Officials estimate that today, the same magnitude earthquake would claim the lives of at least 18,000 people.