Israel experienced not one, but two earthquakes on Sunday, raising fears that a significant geological event was in the offing. Sunday's quakes followed one that occurred early Saturday morning, which was preceded by one last Thursday night.
The first quake was reported at 11:50 AM, measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale. The epicenter of that quake was in the northern Kinneret, five kilometers north of Ginnosar. The second one, reported at 3:54 PM, also measured 3.6 on the Richter scale, and its epicenter was somewhat south of Ginnosar.
There were no injuries or damage in either quake, but both were felt distinctly in communities around the Kinneret, including Tiberias, where police received a barrage of calls from beachgoers and residents.
On Saturday, an earthquake measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale, with its epicenter in the Kinneret, was reported as well. That followed an earthquake that was felt throughout northern Israel last Thursday night. The epicenter of that quake was also in the Kinneret. It reached 3.5 on the Richter scale, and was felt in communities surrounding the lake.
Eight days ago, an earthquake was felt in southern and central Israel, measuring at 6.4 on the Richter scale, with its epicenter beneath the Mediterranean about 40 kilometers under the sea bed, 70 kilometers west of Crete. In Israel, reports of the tremor were received from citizens in central and southern Israel, including Raanana, Rehovot and Ashkelon. It was reportedly felt mostly on the top floors of tall buildings. No injuries or damage were reported in that quake either.
Scientists at the Israel Geophysical Institute said they were examining the quakes, searching for patterns and clues that could indicate if the sudden confluence of small earthquakes could indicate that something bigger was imminent. The Kinneret is smack in the middle of the Syria-Africa rift, which occasionally “acts up,” with a major earthquake. The last such a quake, measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale, occurred in 1927. 300 people were killed in that incident.
In recent years, school children around the country, from kindergarten age and up, have participated in annual earthquake drills in their schools, practicing safe steps to take when the ground starts shaking.
In a recent interview, Dr. Ephraim Laor, who headed the National Steering Committee for Earthquake Preparedness, told Arutz Sheva that individual Israelis must prepare themselves for a major earthquake that could hit Israel. Experts have warned that Israel is expected to be hit by a major earthquake in the coming years.