4.4-magnitude earthquake felt across Israel

With epicenter in Dead Sea, tremor felt as far north as Haifa; no injuries or damage reported

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A mild earthquake with its epicenter in the Dead Sea region was felt throughout Israel early Thursday morning.

The tremor, which measured 4.4 on the Richter scale, struck at 5:39 a.m, according to the Israel Geophysical Institute, which monitors seismic activity.

There were no reports of damage or injuries in Israel or Jordan.

The epicenter was in the southern area of the Dead Sea, several kilometers inside the part of the sea controlled by Jordan.

Residents as far north as Haifa reported feeling the earthquake, according to Army Radio.

Last month, a small earthquake was felt in several areas across Israel and Egypt.

According to the American Geological Survey, the quake measured 5.2 on the Richter scale and its epicenter was 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) southeast of the beach-side town of Nuweiba in the Sinai.

The June tremor was felt in the Gush Dan area in central Israel, Jerusalem, the Negev area and Eilat. In Egypt, the quake shook buildings in Cairo, more than 200 miles away from the epicenter.

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.

Experts have warned a large earthquake could strike Israel in the near future, and the government has begun funding projects for buildings to be bolstered against tremors.

The last major earthquake to hit the region was in 1927 — a 6.2-magnitude tremor that killed 500 and injured another 700.

AP contributed to this report.

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