Small Earthquake Hits Northern Israel


On Sunday morning, a small earthquake was felt by residents of Northern Israel, which was the latest in a series of tremblors to have been experienced in the last few months. On the Richter Scale, the earthquake measures about 3.7 and its epicenter was northwest of Nahariya at a distance of 96 kilometers. The Home Front Command of the military said that since the earthquake was a small one and did not pose any danger, the early warning system hadn’t been activated. Some residents are of the opinion that the unusual numbers of tremors that have been happening recently in different parts of the country are an indication that a large earthquake might be coming.

Earlier this year, a drill for a large national earthquake had also been conducted by the Home Front Command. The west coast of Cyprus had been hit by a large earthquake that was of 6.5 magnitude back in January and had been experienced in nearby Turkey, Lebanon and Israel. Almost two weeks later, northern Israel had been rattled with two small earthquakes that had hit within hours of each other. This had led to the evacuation of the Beit She’an city hall and a school in Afula. Israel had also felt another quake in early February that had hit the coast of Cyprus. 

According to the geological survey department of Cyprus, this particular earthquake had actually been an aftershock of a large tremblor that had occurred the previous month off the east Mediterranean Island. Later in February, two small earthquakes had also been reported by residents of northern Israel in a matter of a couple of hours. The first one had its epicenter in Beit She’an’s northeast and was of a 3.5 magnitude. The seismology division of the Geological Survey of Israel had disclosed that it had occurred in Al-Shunah al-Shamalyah, a town on the border of Jordan. 

The second quake also had a similar epicenter and was around 3.2 on the Richter Scale. None of the quakes reported any injuries, but there were a few buildings that had developed cracks, which had led to evacuations. Israel is located on an active fault line close to the Syrian-African rift. This runs throughout the border that separates Jordan and Israel. The area reports major earthquakes every 80 years, but the last one had happened almost a century ago. 

Recently, a warning had been issued by geological experts that there are about one million homes in the State of Israel that could end up collapsing, should an earthquake occur in the region. Estimates have shown that if a major earthquake was to occur, it would result in deaths of about 7,000 people and an additional 145,000 would be injured. Apart from that, it has also been predicted that an earthquake would damage about 320,000 buildings and would render about 170,000 people homeless because of the destruction it would cause. Therefore, it is a given that Israel would want to be prepared for any such calamity to strike. 

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