Israel’s representative office in Taipei, Taiwan has donated 117 earthquake-proof tables to the former Taiwan capital of Tainan which was struck by a magnitude 6.6 earthquake in February. The number of 117 was chosen because this is the number of casualties who died in the earthquake.
The earthquake-proof table is an Israeli innovation designed as a final project by student Arthur Brutter under the guidance of Prof. Ido Bruno at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design’s Industrial Design Department. It was engineered to shield two students from a ton of debris.
The inexpensive table is built using standard metal profiles, and a single plywood panel. The trick is in the geometric shape and special combination of profiles of different sizes.
Head of Mission of the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, Asher Yarden, canceled the office’s annual Israel’s Independence Day celebration and instead used the budget to purchase the 117 tables.
Sixty tables have already been delivered to Tainan, and the remaining 57 tables will arrive soon. Two of them will be put on display in an exhibition on disaster prevention education at the city’s Fire Bureau, and the rest will be donated to eight elementary and junior high schools that suffered damaged in the quake.
Ducking under a sturdy tables is one of the ways recommended by experts to escape danger from falling and flying debris and other nonstructural hazards during earthquakes. The space under a table or desk is likely to remain even if the building collapses. Pictures from around the world show tables and desks standing with rubble all around them.