Light tremors felt on Tuesday may be 'wake-up call'

Harmless 4.2 quake centered in northern Dead Sea; but massive tremor long overdue, experts say.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
November 20, 2007 12:27
2 minute read.
Light tremors felt on Tuesday may be 'wake-up call'

dead sea 224.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Two tremors rocked the country, particularly the area from Jerusalem eastward, at approximately 11:20 a.m. on Tuesday, but while in this case Israel escaped without casualties damage, some say that Tuesday's tremor should serve as a reminder of the potential for major seismic activity in Israel - and of the degree to which we are unprepared for it. One quake was measured at 3.0 and the second, which followed around ten minutes later, was measured at 4.2 on the Richter scale; its epicenter was in the northern part of the Dead Sea. Residents as far north as Haifa and as far south as Beersheba reported feeling the two tremors. There were no reports of injuries or significant damage, although Jerusalem-area residents said that buildings shook, windows rattled, and in a few cases - items fell off shelves. The earthquake was also felt throughout western Jordan, including in Amman. Tel Aviv University's Dr. Shmuel Marco noted that the Syrian-African Rift is a high-risk location for earthquakes and noted that a major earthquake in the region was long overdue. The last strong earthquake in the area was in 1033. The head of the Israel Building and Infrastructures Engineers, Dr. Yoav Sarna, said that although Israel was expected to suffer from an earthquake measuring between six and seven on the Richter Scale, the Israeli government had not yet adopted measures to prepare the country for such a scenario. According to Sarna, most of the national initiative to encourage strengthening existing buildings against earthquakes and to ensure that future buildings will be built using "earthquake-resistant" technology has seen fruition in Tel Aviv - an area in which the earthquake risk is relatively low. Sarna said, however, he hoped that Tuesday's earthquake had released some pressure on the fault line, and could thus reduce the magnitude of the next major earthquake. A 6.0 earthquake - almost 100 times the strength of Tuesday's earthquake - releases a similar amount of force underground as one megaton of TNT and can cause significant damage within a 150 kilometer radius of the epicenter. The last such earthquake hit Israel in 1927, killing at least 500 people. A 2004 Knesset committee warned that should a major earthquake of a similar scale hit Israel today, the death toll could exceed 10,000. The last substantial quake in the area occurred in February 2004, and was measured at 5.2 on the Richter scale, causing light damage and resulting in the hospitalization of over a dozen people for shock. Judy Siegel and AP contributed to this report.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN