Israel Shaken by Second Quake in 8 Days

The second minor earthquake in just over a week shook central Israel Sunday morning, causing no injury or damage. The Home Front Command has issued instructions in the event of a larger quake.

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Ezra HaLevi, | updated: 16:21


The earthquake, which was felt at 11:25 AM, measured 4 on the Richter scale - slightly less powerful than the 4.5 quake felt last Saturday morning.

Jerusalemites reported the tremors to local municipal hotlines in the minutes following the quake – the epicenter of which was in the Dead Sea region.

Ramat Gan residents told Army Radio that they felt a definite movement of the earth.

The epicenter of last week’s quake was Maaleh Ephraim, in the Jordan Valley. Earlier this year, a 3.2 quake - also centered in the Jordan Valley - was felt and last year on the eve of Rosh HaShana, the Jewish New Year, another 4.0 quake shook Israel.

One of the world’s greatest fault lines, the Syrian-African rift, runs along Israel’s eastern border, beneath the Dead Sea, through the Jordan Valley along the Jordan River and below Lake Kinneret. Each year, some 500 earthquakes are measured in Israel, although most of them are felt only by seismographic equipment.

Experts speculate that smaller earthquakes can delay the occurrence of a larger quake, Israel has been struck by large earthquakes on an average of once every hundred years. The last major quakes are recorded as follows:

* September 30, 1759 – Tzfat, 6.0 - 165 casualties in Tzfat, walls of Tiberias collapse, flooding in Acco

* January 1, 1837 – Tzfat, 7.0 – Thousands of casualties in Tzfat, 20% of Tiberias’s residents killed, damage in Nazareth, Acco and Shechem

* May 1845 – Dead Sea, 6.0 – Damage in Jerusalem, casualties in Bethlehem

* July 11, 1927 – Jordan Valley, 6.2 – 249 dead, 400 wounded, damage in Shechem Tiberias and Ramle

* March 16, 1956 – Southern Lebanon, 5.6 – Dozens killed, wide scale destruction

* November 22, 1995 – Eilat Bay, 7.1 – Damage to Eilat hotels

The IDF’s Home Front command has established a web site to advise Israelis on behavior in the event of a large-scale seismic incident.