For the second time Sunday, a minor earthquake shook northern Israel around 4 p.m., the fourth of its kind since Thursday.
No injuries or damage were reported, but Tiberias residents told Ynet that they felt the 3.6-magnitude quake. The first quake Sunday also registered 3.6 on the Richter scale quake. Both epicenters were near Kibbutz Ginosar, on the Sea of Galilee.
Similarly powerful quakes rattled the north early Saturday morning and Thursday. Last Sunday, a 6.4-magnitude quake, centered in the Mediterranean Sea near Crete, was felt in Athens, Egypt and Israel. In September, an early-morning 3.5-magnitude quake was felt in the northern Dead Sea area, including in Jerusalem.
Seismologist Dov Lakovsky of the Geophysical Institute of Israel told The Times of Israel Sunday that there was no cause for alarm and that the quakes were just “a bit stronger than usual.” Such tremblers, he said, “happen all the time.”
According to the GII’s statistics, seven earthquakes strong enough to be felt have rattled Israel in 2013. The most powerful one, centered near the Suez Canal on June 1, registered 5.0 on the Richter scale.
Israel is situated along the Syrian-African rift, a tear in the earth’s crust running the length of the border separating Israel and Jordan, and is part of the Great Rift Valley, which extends from northern Syria to Mozambique.
Israel’s last major earthquake rattled the region in 1927 — a 6.2-magnitude quake that killed 500 and injured another 700. An earthquake in 1837 left as many as 5,000 people dead. According to a 2010 Haaretz report, major earthquakes strike Israel once every 80 years or so, meaning the country may be due for a serious natural disaster.
Gavriel Fiske and Ilan Ben Zion contributed to this report.