5.3 magnitude earthquake shakes Israel, Lebanon

Earthquake felt as far north as Safed, in Jerusalem; epicenter near Cyprus; no injuries, damages reported after tectonic event.

May 11, 2012 22:31
1 minute read.
Richter Scale [file photo]

Richter Scale, earthquake quake hand graph 311 (R). (photo credit: Pichi Chuang / Reuters)

A 5.3 magnitude earthquake shook the eastern Mediterranean on Friday night, with locals in countries throughout the Levant reporting the quake.

The United States Geological Survey’s website said the quake at a depth of 19.8 km.

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occurred in the sea between Cyprus and Lebanon at 9:48 p.m. local time.

Residents in Israel reported feeling the tremors, as thousands of citizens picked up the phone and called police to announce the event. No damages or injuries were reported.

The earthquake was felt as far south as Rishon Lezion, and as far north as Safed.

Residents in Lebanon also reported the earthquake, with Lebanese media saying tremors were felt in Beirut, Sidon, Tyre and the coastal city of Tripoli.

Police said they received thousands of phone calls in localities nationwide shortly after 9:50 p.m. Residents in Safed, Beit She’an and neighboring towns in the Jordan Valley, Migdal Ha’emek, Araaba, Haifa and other cities and towns called their local authorities to report the tectonic event.

In addition, residents of Tel Aviv, Karmiel and Jerusalem also reported feeling the earth tremble.

“The whole bed was shaking for a pretty long time,” one Jerusalem resident told The Jerusalem Post. “I’m used to earthquakes in California, and this one was strong.”

Last December, a light 3.8 magnitude earthquake shook the Galilee region with its epicenter in the Hula Valley and Sea of Galilee.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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