A small earthquake struck northern Israel slightly before noon on Sunday, the third temblor to be felt in Israel in just over a week. No injuries or damage were reported.
The 3.6 Richter scale quake was centered near Kibbutz Ginosar, adjacent to the Sea of Galilee, and was felt by residents of Tiberias and Safed.
The tremor came on the heels of a similarly-sized quake that measured 3.5 on the Richter scale and struck the area on Thursday. That quake lasted about three seconds and was felt in Safed, Nazareth, Tiberias and the surrounding communities. The Tiberias municipality said it sent inspectors to investigate multiple reports of damage to buildings in the city.
Days before, on October 13, 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, but did not cause injuries or damage.
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. According to a 2010 Haaretz report, major earthquakes strike Israel once every 80 years or so, meaning the country may be long overdue for a serious natural disaster.
Last October, Israel held an extensive national earthquake and tsunami exercise, Turning Point 6, to test the country’s readiness for a natural disaster.