Minor earthquakes strike near Eilat

Minor earthquakes strike near Eilat

After series of northern temblors, two 3.3-magnitude tremors hit, but are barely felt, near southern Israel's Red Sea tourism city

A panoramic view of the southern Israeli city of Eilat. (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90)
A panoramic view of the southern Israeli city of Eilat. (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90)

A minor earthquake hit the Eilat port area Wednesday afternoon, causing no damage or casualties.

Tremors were felt in the Egyptian border city of Taba, but weren’t felt as strongly in the neighboring Israeli city.

The earthquake, measuring 3.3 on the Richter scale, was preceded by another similar-sized quake in the Red Sea, according to Israel Radio.

The quakes were the first to be felt in the south of Israel, following a series of five minor quakes in six days — the last of them on Tuesday — felt in the north.

In the midst of that succession of minor earthquakes, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday convened a consultation with key ministers to discuss national preparedness, and ordered a “refreshing” of procedures for coping with a major quake. The IDF’s Home Front Command then reissued instructions for dealing with a major temblor.

“Don’t think of an earthquake as unbeatable — experience accumulated throughout the world proves that appropriate preparation and proper action in time of earthquake can save lives,” read the Home Front Command guide. Though it is impossible to predict when, “there is no question that an earthquake will hit Israel,” the guide stated.

Israel’s last major earthquake shook 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. Major earthquakes strike Israel once every 80 years or so, meaning the country may be due for a serious natural disaster.

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