On September 20th, Mayor William Lai issued a certificate of appreciation to Mr. Asher Yarden, Representative of the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei (ISECO), to show his gratitude to ISECO for its generous donation of 117 earthquake-proof tables to Tainan City.
When a powerful earthquake rocked Tainan on February 6 this year, ISECO was quick to offer assistance for the city's post-quake recovery. As soon as news of the disaster reached him, Mr. Yarden sent a message of concern and support to Tainan City. Two weeks later, he and Asia Regional Director of IsraAID, Mr. Yotam Polizer, visited Tainan to examine areas affected by soil liquefaction. Both highly experienced in international disaster response, they also shared their expertise with City Government staff who participated in rescue and relief work after the quake.
Mayor Lai recounted that, when Mr. Yarden came to Tainan to exchange ideas about disaster prevention with city officials, he offered a very generous donation of 117 earthquake-proof tables invented by two of his countrymen. It was especially appreciated that these tables were purchased with funds that had been allocated for a National Day reception. This was a deeply moving gesture, demonstrating the warmth of friendship between Israel and Taiwan, as well as Israel's care and compassion for the people of Tainan.
The earthquake-proof table is the brainchild of Israeli inventors Arthur Brutter and Ido Bruno. Designed to withstand downward impacts of up to one ton, its special structure absorbs the energy of falling debris, spreading it over the tabletop and forcing it to the sides without the table collapsing. This brilliant life-saving invention is especially aimed at protecting children in the classroom when an earthquake strikes, providing an effective shield from falling debris and a safe space to shelter under while awaiting rescue. When placed in rows, the tables can also create clear passageways for students and rescue workers to crawl through.
The donation of 117 tables matches the number of people who lost their lives in the February quake. Two of the tables will be kept in the Fire Safety Museum, where they will be used by the Fire Bureau for earthquake safety demonstration and education. The other 115 tables will be given to schools that were damaged by the quake, to be used for educational programs and emergency shelter.
Mr. Yarden said that, in Israel, every life is treated as precious, and he believes it is just the same in Taiwan. Hence, his office felt it was highly appropriate to use the National Day reception budget to buy 117 life-saving tables in memory of the 117 lives lost in the earthquake. This was the best way in which ISECO could demonstrate its friendship and support for Tainan. He added that he was very happy at the way in which the tables were to be put into use, being showcased educationally in the Fire Safety Museum as well as being used for protecting children in schools.
Mayor Lai expressed his hope for the development of closer collaboration between Tainan and Israel. He praised Israel as a great nation that had developed excellent technologies for disaster prevention and response, and had gained a wealth of experience in this area. He particularly admired Israel's development of drip-irrigation technology that enabled it to turn arid desert into fertile cropland, even producing a surplus of crops that could be exported to foreign markets. The way in which the Israeli people united and worked hard to develop a better country was a fine example for peoples elsewhere, and deserved the highest admiration.
Source: Tainan City Government