(July 9, 2018 / JNS) Northern Israel experienced four earthquakes on Sunday, causing no injuries or damage, but shaking up local residents, who fear that a week filled with minor quakes may be the precursor of a major seismic event.
One earthquake occurred at 5 p.m., another at 11 p.m. and another around midnight on Sunday, all below 4.0 on the Richter scale.
An emergency hotline for residents was opened in the city of Tiberias on the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). The city ordered the evacuation of three apartment buildings earlier in the day in light of the earthquakes.
The 5 p.m. earthquake was reportedly felt as far as Haifa to the west and the Golan Heights to the east, with the center of the quake believed to be in the Sea of Galilee.
The first recent quake took place in the northern Galilee on the morning of July 4. That 4.3 Richter scale quake was felt in Haifa and in the north, and was followed by aftershocks. Another three weak quakes occurred the next day.
Israel sits on the Syrian-African rift, which runs along the border of Israel and Jordan, and is just a part of the Great Rift Valley, stretching from northern Syria all the way to Mozambique in southeastern Africa.
Experts have warned that Israel is overdue for a large earthquake. The last major one occurred in 1927 and measured at 6.2, killing 500 people and injuring another 700. Northern Israel, as well as Jerusalem and the Dead Sea area, are at the highest risk of having a quake up to 5.9, with the Negev at risk of a quake measuring 4.9.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced last week that the government would put a long-term plan in place Israelis from earthquakes.