3.3 earthquake strikes North, fifth tremor to hit Israel in last week

IDF releases earthquake guidelines amid recent spate of tremors; latest quake centered northeast of Lake Kinneret.

October 22, 2013 09:25
2 minute read.
Richter Scale [file photo]

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


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A 3.3 magnitude earthquake struck in Israel’s North on Tuesday morning, the fifth tremor to hit the area in the last week.

No injuries or damage were reported in the earthquakes.

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In light of the recent rash of earthquakes to hit the North, the IDF on Monday sent out a statement, calling on citizens to refresh their knowledge of earthquake procedure.

According to the Home Front Command instructions, citizens should attempt to abandon any structure in favor of an open outdoor area in the event of an earthquake, particularly if they are in a one-story building, or on the ground floor of a multiple-floored building.

If exiting the structure is not possible, Home Front Command instructs citizens to enter the building’s bomb shelter with the door remaining open.

If the building does not have a bomb shelter, it is safest to enter the stairwell, advancing toward the exit as much as is possible.

Those who are found at the beach during an earthquake are instructed to leave immediately to avoid a possible tsunami.

Citizens are instructed to stay at least 1 km. from the beach, or if that is not possible, to ascend to at least the fourth floor of a nearby building.

It is advised to stay away from the beach for approximately 12 hours after an earthquake.

Prof. Amotz Agnon, a geology and geophysics expert working at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, believes a major earthquake in the near future could kill thousands.

Speaking in an interview with Army Radio, Agnon said that a strong earthquake in Israel could “lead to thousands of deaths. From experience, we know that everything depends on the time of day an earthquake occurs. The cities of Safed, Tiberias, Kiryat Shmona, Beit She’an and Eilat, unfortunately, are all built above the Syrian-African faultline.”

Adding to the problem is the fact that these towns and cities do not seem to have the financial means necessary to address concerning building issues.

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense subcommittee for Home Front Preparedness is to hold a meeting next Monday, following the wave of earthquakes.

Subcommittee chairman Eli Yishai said the earthquakes “require a thorough examination of the country and the Home Front’s readiness for any scenario that could occur as a result of earthquakes. We cannot ignore this phenomenon.”

Yishai added that the subcommittee will point out shortcomings in the way the government deals with the issue and demand they be fixed.

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